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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16178
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 dog ate a bic lighter what should I do?

Customer Question

my dog ate a bic lighter what should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Did your dog swallow it whole?
Could he have punctured the lighter when he ate it?
How full was the lighter?
How big is your dog?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was a regular sized bic lighter, I found half of it this morning, the other half had been chewed. The lighter would have been less than half full. The dog is small–maybe forty pounds
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was running around chasing squirrels this morning, and he ate his breakfast as normal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What should I do?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Can you just clarify, if he only ate a pre-chewed half?
Could he have punctured before he ate it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it was whole. He ate half of it. Or at least, chewed it into half, and I cannot locate the other half.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Now you see the reason I needed to know just what he ate is because if he chewed this in half before he ate it, it does change our main concerns here. Swallowing it whole would raise concerns of obstruction. Eating it with a puncture (so fluid is leaking into the stomach)would add toxicity concerns. But if he chewed it first and thus likely spilled the butane, the situation is a bit different.
Therefore, since he is currently well in himself and eating, we'd want to take some steps to see if we can push the remaining half through his guts while monitoring him for any adverse effects. Therefore, I would suggest feeding him a "Vaseline sandwich". To make this, you just want to spread Vaseline (or cat hairball treatment) over a piece of whole wheat bread, slather and cover this with a second slice. This can then be hand fed to in pieces. The aim here is that the bread will coat the any sharp plastic bits and bulk up what is being passed in the gut. In the case of the Vaseline, this will act as a lubricant to aid sliding these bits through the GI with hopefully minimal damage.
Further to this, you can consider offering a spoonful of canned pumpkin along with small meals of bland food (ie cooked rice with boiled chicken/white fish or scrambled egg) for the next few days. The fiber in the pumpkin will further encourage any bits of plastic to move through the GI. You can also continue to add cat hairball treatment to these meals.
While encouraging passage of this material, you do want to keep a close eye on him. If you see any belly tenderness or pain when you press on her stomach, pale gums, drooling, oral sores, straining to pass feces, passing blood in vomit or stools, restlessness, or black feces; then those are all red flags of a possible obstruction or butane irritation and would require him to be seen urgently by your vet for an exam +/- xray.
Overall, I am glad to hear that there is at least half of the lighter accounted for. Therefore, in this case, we'd want to use the above to limit any risk while keeping a close eye on him for the next 48 hours. As long as we see no adverse signs, we are happy. But any of the above, and we'd want to have a check with his vet urgently.
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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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

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

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