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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17722
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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I think my dog ate a tampon- what should I do I am a hospice

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I think my dog ate a tampon- what should I do? I am a hospice nurse and know the signs/symptoms of obstruction. She does not appear in pain, cont to eat after 2 days, no emesis. However, am not sure she has had a BM. I put on glove and checked the rectal vault- no stool, but she appears to be trying to poop. My dog is a 15 year old viszla with severe hip dysplagia and diabetes insipidis.

Can you answer a couple questions for me?
1) How long ago did she eat the tampon?
2) Are you sure it was only one?
3) Anything else she could have eaten at that time too?

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
she ate the tampon out of the garbage on 3 days ago on Jan 1. Yes, definitely only one. No she didn't eat anything else other than rice for dinner that day and then her reg dog food with scraps after that. Her appetite is good. She does not appear in distress, but arches her back when trying to poop. This position for elimination is common for her because of her lameness, but I was surprised nothing came out. She is an inside dog with free access to outdoors, so it is possible she has had a BM, I just can't be sure.
Ok. The mystery of did she or didn't she eat a tampon is a challenging one. Radiographs can be taken to see if it is visible, but I will say that I took one here about 2 months ago on a dog that ate 4 to 5 of them and they were not really visible. They blended in with the stomach contents (food) very well.

So if she truly ate one then.... that is something that can go down a couple routes. Could a tampon pass through her intestines? That is something there is no way to give an accurate answer. It all depends on the size, shape, and length of the string and the loops of bowel. I can't say yes it will, or no it won't.   I have had dogs the size of a vizla pass similar pieces of material, but on the flip side, I've take a good number of them to surgery to take out wads of the tampon material.

If you're going to wait to see if it passes, we don't want to see her getting sick (vomiting), not eating well, becoming painful in her belly, lack of stools for over 24 hours with posturing to get it out, or just getting depressed. Those all could be signs of it not passing. When something gets stuck, it then starts to become a very serious problem that could be life threatening if not dealt with quickly.

Hopefully if it is only one tampon and she chewed it up well, it will pass through. So far the only thing that she's doing abnormal right now is the posturing. This hopefully is an indication that the material is in the colon, which usually means it is almost out. Monitor her stools for the material.

Hopefully everything will be good with your little one!
Dr. Bruce
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