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Roger L. Welton, DVM
Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1403
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
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My dog just ate a toothpick, she swallowed it without ...

Resolved Question:

My dog just ate a toothpick, she swallowed it without chewing. What should I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 7 years ago.
If the dog is not struggling, gagging, and not showing any discomfort, this means that the toothpick is not stick in the throat, and has safely made its way to the stomach. Being made of relatively thin wood, a toothlick will not likely get stuck or cause any major perforations. Once in the stomach, the fluid and acid should saturate and pulvarize the wood into a state where it should pass causing little harm.

I would feed the dog little bit of bread soaked in water. This will help to stimulate gastric acid secretions, as well as provide moisture to help the toothpick pass. But be careful not to over feed - you do not want the toothpick coming back up, as this could cut up the esophagus. Just half a slice should suffice for a mid size dog, a quarter slice for a little dog, or a full slice for a large dog.

While I do not expect a problem, there are no guarantees. Things to look for that may indicate that the toothpick is causing problems is hunched over posture (this indicates abdominal pain) and vomiting. Any of this occurs, he should see a vet ASAP.
Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1403
Experience: Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
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