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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16293
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My chihuahua swallowed pieces from and passed a Brown plastic

Customer Question

My chihuahua swallowed pieces from and passed a
Brown plastic bag. He has had diarhea for several days and lstopped eating and I cannot afford a vet. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Do you think he passed all of the bag?
What does the diarrhea look like? Any blood or mucus?
What have you tried feeding?
Will he drink water?
What is in the Walgreens product you are using?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've tried feeding him saltine crackers with a small amt of peanut arbonatebutter. He ate that & he has eaten very little of his food. Yes, he will drink water. Ingred. In Walgreen med is calcium carbonate
400 mg antacid
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is peanut butter not arbonatebutter
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Is he straining to pass the diarrhea (as if he has to push past a blockage)?
Any vomiting?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No straining to pass diarrhea. The first day, Friday, he vomited a little.
No more throwing up. He ate some grass this morning.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again,
Now as he has had diarrhea for several days, we would hope the bag isn’t an ongoing issue any more (especially if he doesn't seem to be straining past a blockage). Therefore, we can try some supportive care to see if we can settle his stomach, slow his diarrhea, and prevent dehydration/nutrition loss.
Now if the Calcium carbonate isn’t settling his stomach and he is eating this poorly, then I would suggest considering an alternative treatment. Specifically, you can consider treating him with an antacid to settle his stomach. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the ones I tend to use are:
*Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx#.VGJLgsn9XPg)
* Tagamet (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx).
These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your wee one has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.
Once that has had time to absorb and is more steady on his stomach, you can consider starting him on a light/easily digestible diet. If you do so, start with a small volume (a spoonful) to start. Examples would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). When you offer that spoonful, give him 30 minutes to settle. If he keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As his tummy stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of the easily digestible diet is that it will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less diarrhea. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until the diarrhea is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.
Since anorexia and diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a small dog, even if he can drink, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check his hydration status to make sure he is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for him.
Finally, as long as you have not seen blood in those stools, you can consider trying him today on a dog safe anti-diarrheals. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if the diarrhea is being caused by an infectious agent (ie bacteria will require antibiotics, parasites or protozoa will require anti-parasitic treatment, etc). Still it can slow the diarrhea to aid the body to absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p/page1.aspx). This is available from your local pharmacy (we would avoid Pepto Bismol here since he isn’t eating). Furthermore, Propectalin or Protexin Pro-Fiber (both are available OTC at vets, pet stores, and Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the last 2 has the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI. So, you can consider trying these as a short term means of trying to soothe his upset GI.
Finally, just in case he isn't settling with the above supportive care and since funds are a concern, there is help out there for wee ones like Buddy. If you have a VCA veterinary hospital near you, then you might consider taking advantage of their free first consult offer (http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/offer). It would be an economical opportunity to have a vet examine him in person and could offset costs if he did need further treatment. As well, Banfield offers a similar offer as well (http://www.banfield.com/landing-pages/coupon)
Otherwise, if you do not have either local to you, then consider checking out the Humane Society's database. They have a lot of branches nationwide, along with ties to other assistance organizations, that can keep down costs and subsidize care (http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_pet.html) and surely will be willing to help Buddy. As well, the ASCPA also has some further help options @ https://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/financial-help-my-vet-bills
Overall, we do have some concerns for his signs (ie bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, gut trauma from the bag, etc). At this stage, since costs are a concern, you can consider the above home treatments to see if you can get him eating and soothing this for him. But if he doesn't settle in the next 24-48 hours, then we'd want to think about one of these means of having him seen so that he can get checked, diagnosed, and on treatment before this gets to a stage where he is dehydrated/collapsed/weak and in need of hospitalization.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Three times he passed the plastic there was no diarrhea, just passed plastic w/ regular pooh.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,
Well a regular bowel movement is positive and hopefully that was the last of the plastic. So, I would use the above again for him at this stage. Still, if we are seeing plastic still then do consider also adding a fiber source (ie a spoonful of tinned pumpkin or all bran to his food) to food or syringing tinned pumpkin as the fiber will also bulk up feces and aid in pushing this plastic out.
All the best,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Buddy. How is everything going?

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