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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16288
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 6 lb chi that I think ate part of a ping pong ball

Customer Question

I have a 6 lb chi that I think ate part of a ping pong ball
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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

How long ago did that potentially happen?

How much ping pong ball is missing? Do you think he chewed it to bits or swallowed it whole?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?

Can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This happened yesterday morning!He wouldn't be able to swallow the ball whole.I can't find any of the ball.He isn't gagging or vomiting or doing more lip locking than normal.Yes, he is keeping water down.Gums are pink and moistHe doesn't seem to have any discomfort in his belly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** of your reply just came through.

I will compose my answer now.

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello again,

First, I would note that if Tanner is just off color and not showing any of those signs, then I'd not be convinced he ate a whole ping pong ball. This is because at his size, we'd expect to see at least some of those signs for him (as it would carry a significant blockage risk for a dog this small). So, that is positive that he doesnt' have any of those signs but does raise questions of whether the missing ball is a red herring.

Therefore, I will outline what we need to do to encourage him to pass any ball bits he ate, but also would suggest trying him with an antacid to address any non-ball related GI upset. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). Of course, do check with his vet before use if he has any known heath issues.

Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** a possible foreign body situation without those warning signs, we'd want to start him on small meals of bland food (ie cooked rice with boiled chicken/white fish or scrambled egg) for the next few days. Whichever you choose, you consider adding a spoonful of canned pumpkin to the meals. The fiber in the pumpkin will encourage any ball material to move through the GI. As well, cat hairball treatment or a GI lubricant (ie Latulose, Miralax, food grade mineral oil) can also be added to these meals to help it slip through.

While encouraging passage of this material, you do want to keep a close eye on him. Specifically, we need to keep an eye out for any belly tenderness or pain when you press on his stomach, pale gums, straining to pass feces, passing blood in vomit or stools, appetite loss, restlessness, or black feces. If you did see any of these; then those are all red flags of a possible blockage or trauma and would require him to be seen urgently by your vet for an exam +/- xray.

Overall, we do always have to tread with care in situations like this. Still, his lack of other signs does make his ingestion of that ball questionable. Therefore, we'd want to look for it while using the above supportive care and monitoring. Of course, if we see any of those warning signs or he isn't settling over the next 12-24 hours, then we'd want to considering having a check up with his vet to determine if we have any ball caught in his stomach or pinpoint what is triggering these signs.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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