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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16176
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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I have a small dog 20lbs she ate some ham bone..she cant poo

Customer Question

I have a small dog 20lbs she ate some ham bone..she cant poo ..I feel grit in the bowl..what can I do ??
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long ago did she eat this?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

If you press on her belly, does she have any tensing, tenderness, or pain?

Have you seen any black stool?

Any vomiting or appetite loss?

What laxative did you try? How long ago? How much did you give?

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again,

I have not heard back from you and am going to be away for a short time. Therefore, I do want to leave my thoughts on your lass's very worrisome situation.

Now based on your history, we need to tread with great care. Bones can be very dangerous for dogs. Now only do we have a blockage risk here(especially with the non-productive fecal straining) but we have the risk of gut trauma (even if this is already in the bowel, where lack of feces tends to be related to pain from the bone shards when they bear down to pass stool).

With those risks in mind, I do first want to note red flag signs you need to watch for. If you see any of these (especially since we havestraining already), they would be our cue to have her seen urgently. Specifically, we need to be vigilant for any restlessness, lethargy, vomiting with blood or coffee ground type material, inability to keep any food or water down,anorexia, pale gums, or passage of black feces (digested blood). If you see these signs (or the straining continues even after we start helping), then having her seen would be safest for her. Her vet can have a feel of his belly, perform a rectal examination (to check for the grit you feel) +/-an xray to see where everything is and whether it will pass on its own.

Now if this ingestion was long enough ago that we have shards/grit in the bowel and no issue in the upper GI, then I would note that we do tend to approach these dogs by sedating them and flushing out the shards with enemas. So, this would be ideal here in this case and thus it'd be ideal to have her to her vet urgently.

If that is not an option for any reason and she doesn't have those other signs, then we can try to encourage the bone material to keep moving. Laxatives can be used but different ones would have different levels of success here. So, ideally we'd want to be adding a GI lubricant (ie cat hairball medication Miralax, lactulose or food grade mineral oil) to her food. Just to note, in regards ***** ***** consider using a light diet like cooked 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 her stomach settled. Whichever you choose to offer, you can also add some fiber (ie a spoonful of tinned pumpkin or allb ran) to the food to try and push this all through the gut. And the combinationof the lubricants and the fiber can be helpful in moving bone material along (so long as its not lodged in the gut).

Overall, situations like these always require us to be on our toes and tread with care. If she is showing any of those other warning signs I noted, we'd need her seen urgently. Otherwise, we can try the above to move that grit material while keeping a very close eye on her. If we can get that stuff moving and feces passing, then we can keep treating. But if its not enough, she is sore, or she shows any of those dangerous signs, we'd need her seen urgently to get this addressed before it can damage (or even perforate) her gut and cause her harm.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

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