How long until you don't worry? Swallowed object.

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby fenella » March 3rd, 2009, 11:25 pm

I'm asking for a friend...
She had some pens in individual boxes. She came in and her dog was finishing off one of the boxes. She isn't 100% sure that there was a pen in that box, but she couldn't find a pen anywhere :| She is worried that maybe he ate the pen. I told her to feed bread, etc. That was a couple of days ago. Not acting strange, eating/drinking normally, pooping fine (no pen, though). She called the vet to ask. They said they could do an x-ray, but $ is an issue, especially if he didn't actually eat anything. She was asking me when she can stop worrying about the pen. I don't know what to tell her. When would you stop poking through poop?
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Postby BullyLady » March 3rd, 2009, 11:29 pm

Gosh, dogs can hold that stuff in their guts for awhile from some of the stories I've heard. She can probably stop "worrying" now, but she should always be alert to her dog's poop honestly.
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Postby amazincc » March 4th, 2009, 1:28 am

fenella wrote: When would you stop poking through poop?


Personally, I wouldn't ... until I either found the missing pen, or had an x-ray done. :shock: :neutral:

I'm really anal about my dogs possibly swallowing foreign objects. Especially something long and pointy.
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Postby Marinepits » March 4th, 2009, 12:37 pm

I agree with C & C. Mac had a tennis ball in his gut for about 4 months until it caused a problem and he ended up getting surgery.

Did she see any ink in his mouth on his tongue or staining his teeth? Odds are good that he chomped on the pen before eating it (IF he actually ate it). A pen is kinda hard to swallow whole. Unless he's a Lab. :wink:
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Postby katiek0417 » March 4th, 2009, 2:06 pm

Yeah....I'd want to be sure...we don't know when Jue ate his cat toy that got lodged...but when he started vomiting, losing weight, slowing down, and not eating, I took him to the vet...we had NO idea that he swallowed a cat toy...heck, I didn't even remember having that cat toy...
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Postby Malli » March 5th, 2009, 4:50 am

yeah,
we had one client with a dog who had blockage surgery, the last time they could remember feeding the dog a corn cob was 9 months before.
The object can sit in the gut for months before it hits the right spot and starts to stop everything up or really irritate everything. It can really be a ticking time bomb. Its a HELL of a lot cheaper to pay for an xray then an abdominal surgery and aftercare (nevermind if the intestines get perforated, wich will be even more involved and costly).

Whatever the case with this incident, I would suggest that your friend get Pet Insurance or a Medical Credit Card (I believe its called Care Credit?), so she/he has some kind of backup plan; this is especially important for those with less income (myself included), as guaranteed, when it rains it pours and her dog will get sick at the worst possible time.
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Postby call2arms » March 5th, 2009, 2:25 pm

My cat kept a string in his stomach for over two weeks and proceeded to puke it. He was doing fine otherwise, eating, pooping, acting normally.

If she thinks there might be a pen in there, I'd look for abnormal stools, vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy. IF any of these signs show up, I'd be at the vet asap. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised that if the dog did swallow the pen, that it's somewhere jammed in one of the many folds of the intestine, pens aren't exactly flexible, and at the same time they're thin so food may easily go around it, but eventually the intestines would get inflamed and irritated, and that's when you get clinical signs.

It's worth doing an x-ray (even if the pen doesn't show (and I assume it has some metal in it so it probably would) you can see gas and accumulation of food, gives you an idea whether things are right or not), and it will be more expensive to wait for a clinical sign and possibly go for an emergency exploratory surgery in the middle of a Sunday night when the dog starts to crash...

Your friend has to think of an x-ray as an investment, not an extra expense. What if the pen isn't in there? Well he/she just paid for some very nice peace of mind, and can finally take a deep breath.
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Postby BullyLady » March 5th, 2009, 10:10 pm

call2arms wrote:Your friend has to think of an x-ray as an investment, not an extra expense. What if the pen isn't in there? Well he/she just paid for some very nice peace of mind, and can finally take a deep breath.


That's exactly how I would think of it as well. Number one I just got peace of mind, and number two spend a little to save a little in the event that there IS a pen there we can do surgery scheduled instead of emergency.
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Postby CH_Venom » March 9th, 2009, 6:24 pm

When the dog has an x-ray, poops it out, has puked it up or the item was discovered and the dog didn't eat it after all. Personally I would have made them puke it up immediately. Rather be safe then sorry. If it wasn't in there no harm really done and if it was then no more reason to worry.
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Postby Malli » March 10th, 2009, 3:32 am

actually, with objects that are not soft or small or smoothe, there is SERIOUS RISK WITH INDUCING VOMITING

its entirely possible that an object that went down ok but will get stuck or rip or tear at the esophagus and throat on the way back up, worse, it could get stuck and suffocate the animal :neutral:

Pretty well the only consistently safe thing to make a dog vomit back up is dog food.
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