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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18942
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 may have an acorn, or part of one, caught in

Customer Question

I think my dog may have an acorn, or part of one, caught in his throat. It is not a total obstruction since he can breath and eat. He hacks occasionally and licks his lips, and he is pacing to go outside, but doesn't do anything but eat grass or try to eat more acorns. He doesn't seem interested in drinking water, but I think he is able to drink.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is this new behavior?
Customer: Yes, I've seen it to a lesser degree from time to time since acorns started to fall. He seems more bothered this time.
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. How old is may?
Customer: He is a five year old border collie.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about may?
Customer: He's very high energy and is still interested in playing ball. I know he's uncomfortable.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 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 has he had these signs?

Can he eat and drink? Keep both 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 6 months ago.
Just today. He can eat and drink and keep them down. His gums are pink and his belly isn't sore. It's not bloat. I know what it is. He finally coughed up a wad of plant leaves - not a toxic plant. His terrible about eating acorns. I try to stop him, but he's a border Collie and he's outside for long periods. It's impossible to keep him in sight at all times. This is the first time I've seen him eating from a plant. This morning I watched him do it again so I'm cutting down the plant before he chokes himself.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you,

If he can eat and drink without regurgitating these, then an obstruction (even partial) is unlikely. Instead, this is more suggestive of throat inflammation (from the acorn going down, stomach acid reflux or vomiting). And I have to note that since acorns are toxic and known to cause gut upset, this could be playing a role in his signs (and plant eating is a nausea sign in dogs and some will get into vicious cycles with these).

With this in mind, we do need to restrict his access to the yard for at least the short term. If he is sneaky about what he eats, then we may need to even keep a lead on him for those outings. Otherwise, we'd want to consider soothing that throat with an OTC pet safe antacid. Ideally, we'd want to use a liquid one (ie Milk of Magnesia - 0.5tsp every 8 hours) but could also use 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). 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. These will reduce nausea and hopefully stop the plant chewing behavior and the liquid options can coat the throat to soothe it quicker.

Otherwise you can plan to try small meals of a soft and 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).

Overall, his signs sound more like throat inflammation (esophagitis) with a possible underlying nausea. Therefore, we'd want to use the above to see if we can soothe this for him. Of course, if his signs persist, then we'd want his local vet to assess him to start further gastroprotectants for the throat and injectable anti-nausea medication to get him settled.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.