Puggles this method is one Ithat has been used by many of my American doggy friends. It seems to be quite common in the US. I believe the theory is that he cotton wool basically encases the object and allows it to be passed safely.
Metamucil is another thing that works well.
The following is an email from a breeder in US detailing her experience with metamucil for assisting in getting rid of a foreign object
"In praise of Metamucil
I want to sing the praises of ? Metamucil remedy.
Thursday evening, our puppy Neisha and her sidekick Dilys found a small plastic bag that had four 1 1/2 inch, heavy, furniture screws in it. We found three of the screws: one was missing, and we feared the worst: that it was inside one of the dogs. We called ?, and she said that (1) we should start both of them on a mixture of 1 tablespoon of Metamucil mixed with a half can of dog food mixed with water to make a slurry, 3 or 4 times a day, (2) we should be sure to keep them hydrated so the system would keep things moving, and (3) we should take both of them into the vet in the morning for an x-ray to determine who had the screw (if either of them did). So we gave them both the Metamucil mixture and in the morning, we gave them both a large bowl of chicken broth to ensure that they had plenty of fluids to keep their system moving.
We went to our back-up vet for the x-rays because the regular practice could not see us as early as we wanted to be seen. When the x-rays were taken, the screw turned out to be in Neisha, the seven month old puppy. It looked huge on the x-ray: it was in her stomach, and the vet who took the x-rays (not our regular vet) said that there was no way that this screw could pass through her intestines. . He recommended immediate surgery to save her life. The pressure was horrendous: who were we to refuse the vet's advice? But something told us not to rush into the decision.
We called ? and she told us great stories about the Metamucil cure, including one story about a rock that was two inches long and at least one inch wide. So we decided not to do the surgery and to give the Metamucil until Monday to effect a cure. We then checked with our regular vet's practice and the head vet told us that he thought the Metamucil would work to bulk it up and protect the intestines as it passed through, and he also said that there were no downsides to this equation: if it did not pass, he would prefer to remove it from the intestines than from the stomach. Made sense to us.
So we proceeded to give Neisha three meals a day of Metamucil, Wysong canned dog food, and chicken broth mixed into a slurry with in-between bowls of chicken broth to keep her well hydrated. Poops were frequent and rubbery: you could use a pooper scooper to pick them up and they left nothing on the floor or ground -- everything came up like one big rubbery mass and plopped on the pooper scooper. 36 hours after the x-rays and the vet who said it would not pass, the screw appeared in her poop, a little changed in coloration, but firmly ensconced in the rubbery mess!
So instead of a dog recovering from serious stomach surgery, we have a dog who does not realize what she has been through, has not missed a beat in her training program, is ready to find something else to grab and take to her crate, and will be able to participate in her Monday morning obedience class. She has not had a moment of discomfort (at least, not that we are aware of but then, we did not see the poop with the screw pass), and she is
as spirited as ever. No anaesthesia; no recovery time; no mess.
I have heard of a lot of remedies for things ingested (canned asparagus, cotton balls and heavy cream, hydrogen peroxide to bring them back up, etc.), but nothing comes close to what the Metamucil did. We had it on hand because of ? earlier posting. We will always have it on hand because of the dramatic results we got. And we recommend that everyone keep Metamucil on hand for this reason!
Obviously this works for some anyway!