Vets Send Warning Over Rainbow Loom Bands

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WESTLAKE, OH -- An important warning has been posted by the manufacturers of Rainbow Loom.

The popular toy is designed for children 8 and up and is clearly labeled with a choking hazard warning, but children may not be the only ones at risk.

The product, which is considered one of the hottest toys this holiday season, could cause problems for the family pet because they are “indigestible.”

“Anything like that, the pet can consume and we worry about it causing an obstruction in their intestinal tract,” said Dr. Greg Cunningham, of Detroit Dover Animal Hospital in Westlake.

The toy consists of a small plastic loom and lots of colorful rubber bands that can be weaved into bracelets or other types of jewelry.

The tiny rubber bands can easily fall onto the floor where animals can get them.

Dr. Cunningham says they’ve received calls from pet owners about the tiny rubber bands, but other vets have had more serious cases.

The Suffolk Veterinarian Group in Selden, New York posted a warning on their website stating, in part, that, “we have seen one too many patients with stomach upset as a result of ingestion of the tiny, colorful rubber bands…”

The rubber bands only cost a few bucks, but if an animal eats them and becomes ill, the owner could spend thousands of dollars on medical treatments, including surgery.

“The material gets stuck in the intestine and the intestine works up on it. The term's called plication and it can lead to a rupture of the intestine track,” said Dr. Cunningham.

If you suspect your pet has eaten the rubber bands, it’s important to call a veterinarian right away and to know the symptoms of an obstruction, including loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.

Dr. Cunningham said the symptoms will usually come on very quickly within 24 to 48 hours.

The Rainbow Loom manufacturers are asking customers to share this information – so that all family members are safe this holiday season.

Here is the warning in its entirety:

!!Warning for parents/guardians!!  Do not let your kids chew on rubber band as it is indigestible. We did not hear about any news yet, but please read warning below.

!!Warning for pet owners!! - from recent post. Please keep the rubber bands away from your pet as rubber bands are indigestible. One customer had rubber bands surgically removed from her pet's stomach. Please share the news and keep your pet safe! Thanks. Rainbow Loom Team.