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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16247
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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Bichon ate chicken bones vomited an hour later, vomit

Customer Question

bichon ate chicken bones vomited an hour later, vomit contained a small bone shard
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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

Can he keep any food or water down?

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?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Keeps water down belly doesn't seem to be sensitive she had dog food before getting in the garbage for chicken bones
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
she won't let me look in her mouth.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

Now bones can be quite dangerous and a serious GI issue for our dogs. This is because these shards can lacerate the stomach, GI and throat if she vomits any more. And I would note that the throat is a major worry because damage at that point of the GI can be very difficult to repair surgically.

With this in mind, we do need to tread carefully. Since she only just had this and the shard we just saw tells us that bone is still in the stomach, you could consider getting her to the vet (or ER vet) urgently for scoping. They can use their endoscope to remove any shards any avoid any more risk for her.

Otherwise, since chicken bones will soften in stomach acid and the food is hopefully coating any sharp edges, we would want to monitor her closely and can try some supportive care. For monitoring, we need to watch for any signs of paling gums, belly pain, restlessness, or lethargy, black stools, straining to pass feces without success, and of course blood (or coffee ground looking digested blood) in her vomit. If we see any of these, they will be signs of the bone potentially causing trauma, obstruction, or gut compromise. And if we see any of those signs, then we'd want her vet to feel her abdomen +/- xrayed immediately.

Now while monitoring, there are some supportive care steps we can take. The first step here since she has had vomiting we could try addressing any nausea with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid) or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac). This medication of course shouldn't be given without consulting your vet if she does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease her upset gut signs.

Further to this, once she is more settled, you can consider putting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Further to rice alone, examples would be cooked rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion powder free) or cottage cheese. There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis, (ie Hill's I/D or Royal Canin's sensitivity). Whichever you choose, do add some tinned pumpkin (a spoonful) to these meals. This fiber source will help bulk up feces to just help push any lingering bone through the gut. As well, GI lubricants (ie cat hair ball remover, Vaseline, Miralax, Lactulose, food grade mineral oil, etc), can be added to food to help slide any bone bits through. We tend to feed this as small frequent meals, as this will decrease the risk of vomiting and make digestion easier on the GI.

Overall, the bone is a worry here for your lass. That said, as long as we don't see any of those worrying signs, you can start the above supportive care for her. Of course, if she vomits any more shards, shows any of those signs, or doesn't settle, then I would advise following up with her vet so that they examine her. They can palpate her belly +/- xray to see where the bones are in her gut. Depending on their findings, they may just be able to settled her anti-nausea/vomiting medication by injection and further supportive care. But if she isn't settling or they do find that the shards are causing harm, then urgent care +/- surgery may be indicated.

In this situation, just in case you do wish to see an emergency vet, you can check @ http://www.vetlocator.com/.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

PS- There will be little to see in her mouth, so there is no need to wrestle her. If you were trying to check her gum color, just flip her lip to see the gum or roll down her lower eyelid as that too can give us an idea of paling/internal bleeding.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you so much. Very helpful. Her vet doesn't open until 9am so you saved me some nervousness. Thank you again.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome,

I am glad that I could give you a plan of action until her vet opens. Since she isn't sore nor hopefully showing any of those other red flag signs I noted, we should be safe to wait for them. Of course, if you do have her seen at 9am, do use the antacid to settle her stomach but hold off on food since that way there won't be any delay (or food in the way) if they did need to xray or scope.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
nekovet