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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16179
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 10 week old puppy ate some Styrofoam yesterday evening.

Customer Question

My 10 week old puppy ate some Styrofoam yesterday evening. He's seemed fine since, but this morning he pooped inside, which he hadn't done before, and it seemed a little less solid than before and like it possibly contained some blood. He tried to poop one other time this morning before I went to work but couldn't. He ate his breakfast this morning and has seemed fine otherwise, but I'm worried about him being constipated and possible intestinal damage...
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.
How much blood did you see? A spoonful, more, less?
Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?
If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?
When he ate the Styrofoam, did he chew it or swallow it in big pieces?
What color was his stool?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was not a lot of blood, less than a spoonful. I didn't notice any difference in his gums and he didn't seem to have any belly pain. He chewed up part of a Styrofoam cup--there will little bits left in the car, I'm not sure how much he swallowed or how large the pieces were, though considering that there chewed up bits, he probably chewed it up into bits. His stool was the tan color it had been being, but seemed less solid than it had previously (it's been somewhat soft anyway) and seemed like there was some clear mucus and a little blood.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Now if his stool had been soft before, we cannot fully assume the styrofoam is playing a role. This is because fresh blood can be seen when dogs are straining to pass non-edible items (and sadly styrofoam isn't one of those items they can digest), but can also be related to colonic irritation from abnormal stool. As well, if he had been developing a colitis secondary to that soft stool, it could actually cause straining itself.So, we do want to monitor that and tread with care.
Now since he is eating and you reported no vomiting, I will outline some supportive care we can try to push any lingering styrofoam out while trying to help the loose stool situation at the same time. But before we discuss that, I do just want to mention what signs we need to monitor for in regards ***** ***** styrofoam blockage risk. Red flags of trouble or obstruction include restlessness, lethargy, vomiting with blood or coffee ground type material, inability to keep any food or water down, anorexia, pale gums, straining to pass feces (so we need to keep an eye on that) or passage of black feces (digested blood). If you see these signs (or the straining continues even after we start helping him), then having him seen would be best for his vet to have a feel of his belly +/- an xray to see where everything is and whether it will pas on its own.
Otherwise, we want to start him on small meals of a light diet. Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Ideally, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep his stomach settled and reduce his diarrhea volume. Whichever you choose to offer, you can also add some fiber (ie a spoonful of tinned pumpkin or all bran) to the food to try and push this item through the gut. This will help bulk up his feces at the same time. As well, you can also add a dose of a GI lubricant (ie cat hairball medication Miralax, lactulose or food grade mineral oil). These can help get things moving for him and hopefully pass this material without complications. Do note that one will make the stool runnier for the short term, but is useful if we need to push things through.
Overall, situations like these always require us to be on our toes and tread with care. If he is showing mild signs of GI discomfort (the straining, the mucoid blood), then you can consider the above steps for him while keeping a close eye. But if you see any of those other signs or want to err on the side of caution, then having him examined +/- xrayed would be ideal so you can appreciate how big those pieces were and whether there is any risk. But otherwise we'd hope to use the above to settle his stomach and push this styrofoam through.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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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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