Busted! Dog Who Ate Fitbit Gets Found Out After Device Keeps Tracking Movement from Pet's Stomach

Dog Swallows Fitbit That Keeps Tracking Her Movement
Dog Swallows Fitbit That Keeps Tracking Her Movement

Pet Poison Helpline

When Marie Fournier's Fitbit went missing from where it had been charging, she thought it must be lost in her bedroom.

But after a few days of looking, the dog owner from Caseville, Michigan, checked out her fitness app and noticed something strange — the exercise tracker had logged activity since its disappearance.

"I opened the app and confirmed it must be around because someone was using it. It was hilarious. It had been tracking movement, and it was like I rode my bicycle outside for 20 minutes," Fournier said in a Pet Poison Helpline release.

Before the device's disappearance, Fournier last saw her Fitbit charging on her dresser in the upstairs bedroom of the home she shares with her husband, Norm, and their two dogs, Harley and Halley.

After talking with Norm, Fournier ruled him out as the Fitbit thief who logged a 20-minute bike ride, so only two suspects were left.

"When I realized it must be one of the dogs who took the Fitbit, I began to suspect that perhaps Halley had eaten it because she was acting strangely," Fournier said.

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Dog Swallows Fitbit That Keeps Tracking Her Movement
Dog Swallows Fitbit That Keeps Tracking Her Movement

Pet Poison Helpline

"I put Halley in the car with me and drove around the block, but the app wasn't tracking. Then I did the same thing with Harley and found out she was the real culprit. Halley's strange behavior must have been empathy for her sister," the dog mom added.

After determining the location of the Fitbit, Fournier made a quick call to the Pet Poison Helpline, which recommended she head to a veterinarian immediately.

Dr. Renee Schmid, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, said there was concern about the lithium polymer battery inside the Fitbit, which can cause tissue damage from generating an electrical current.

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"Since it was more than 24 hours since ingestion, there was a concern the Fitbit would not pass on its own, and we recommended surgery," Dr. Schmid said. The team at Caseville Small Animal Clinic gave Harley a radiograph; sure enough, there was the Fitbit.

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"But there was another mass that they couldn't identify in her lower intestines. At first, they tried to induce vomiting. Nothing came up, but the mass moved, and we could see it better," Fournier said.

Surgery uncovered the Fitbit, including its silicon band and a rock the size of a prune inside the canine.

Fournier said it ended up being fortunate that her pup ate the Fitbit because "if she hadn't, we wouldn't have known about the rock, and it might have caused far more damage or death." Harley recovered from the surgery and is doing well.

And if you were wondering if the Fitbit survived its Magic Schoolbus-style adventure, Fournier said she just needed to replace the device's band. "The Fitbit itself continues to track. I'm keeping it out of reach now," she said, adding, "apparently, Fitbits can also take a licking and keep on ticking."

Pet Poison Helpline states owners should seek urgent veterinary care if a pet ingests any battery.

"Depending on the specific type of battery, whether it was punctured, and how much was ingested, treatment can vary from at-home monitoring, starting medication to provide gastrointestinal protection, or potentially surgery. Lithium batteries, especially round, button-type batteries, tend to become lodged in the esophagus, creating even more concerns," a statement from the helpline said.