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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19556
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 think my dog injested sand at the beach today he is sick

Customer Question

I think my dog injested sand at the beach today he is sick and vomiting and. Has water like stools
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if your dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Diesel is a 6 month old giant schauzer
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Diesel?
Customer: No
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Poor Diesel!

If he has ingested sand today, we need to tread with care. In large volumes, this can become a blockage but even small volumes can irritate and damage the gut (since its like sand paper on delicate mucosal tissue). Now as long as doesn't have black stools, bloody vomit, plaing gums, or severe belly pain; you can try to soothe and protect his stomach and reduce these signs.

To start, as long as he can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest the stomach for a few hours first), you can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid like 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 a liquid antacid like Milk of Magnesia (0.5tsp every 8 hours). The last one is nice since it will coat the stomach as it reduces nausea. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Also if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once he is more settled, you can plan to try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) There are also OTC vet diets (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) that can be used too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and diarrhea. You can also add canned pumpkin to these meals as it can help coat the sand to reduce abrasive damage on the gut but also fiber can bulk up the stools quicker. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to what you normally feed.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing but if he has gotten into a lot of sand, then that is a worry. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to try to settle his stomach. Though if he cannot keep that or water down, appears to have any of the signs I noted above, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, start injectable anti-vomiting medication, fluids, gastroprotectants, gut safe pain relief, +/- antibiotics to settle this and help him pass the sand without harm.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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