How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr Gwen Your Own Question
Dr Gwen
Dr Gwen, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 512
Experience:  10 years experience in critical care, preventative medicine, chronic illness, and behavior.
21470562
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr Gwen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I believe my dog ate clumping cat litter and is impacted in

This answer was rated:

I believe my dog ate clumping cat litter and is impacted in her intestines. I absolutely cannot afford surgery. What else can I try?

Dr Gwen :

Hello, welcome to Just Answer. I will try to help answer your questions and find a solution for Bella. How long ago did she eat the litter? Is she vomiting?

Customer:

She is not vomiting. I am not sure how long ago as she had an eye infection last week and I thought that was contributing to her not eating. I took her to the vet on Thursday and was told that she had a tapeworm. I gave her the pill same day and she still hasn't eaten. She is taking water but not vomiting.

Dr Gwen :

When she was seen by the vet did they palpate her abdomen? Any comments on them feeling a firm area in the abdomen? Did they do a rectal exam?

Customer:

They said that her abdomen was distended and suspected Cushings? The rectal exam and temp were normal.

Dr Gwen :

That is great news that she is not vomiting. Will she eat anything - treats, people food, anything? If her temp and rectal were normal, she sounds pretty stable. There are a number of things that can cause the abdomen to look a little distended, and while Cushings is one cause, it is easy to diagnose with a couple of blood tests. Did your vet think Bella was not eating for any specific reason?

Customer:

She did take some people food when I had to give her the pill. Should I give her more people food and see if she vomits?

Dr Gwen :

I think if you offer her a bland diet of boiled white rice mixed with lean ground beef, you should know pretty quickly if she is able to keep any food down.

Customer:

If she does vomit, what do I do then? Are there any other options besides surgery? Can anything loosen the litter if it is the problem?

Dr Gwen :

Yes, if you can give me a moment I can type a longer response that should cover that.

Customer:

Sure

Dr Gwen :

Wonderful, thank you. XXXXX have a patient that has a sensitive digestive system, is not eating well, or has eaten something that causes irritation to the stomach and intestines, I recommend putting them on a bland diet for 4-7 days. Most dogs find the rice/beef mixture very tasty and will eat it well. If they are eating it well for a few days, it is important to start mixing the regular food with the mixture to slowly convert them back to the normal diet.
If you give this to Bella, only offer her small meals, about 1/2 cup 3 or 4 times per day to allow her system to digest it easier. One thing you can give her to see if the food is moving through, is to put a small amount of glitter in the first meal. If she has a bowel movement that has the glitter in it, she is not fully obstructed and has a good chance of being able to pass any foreign material that might be in her intestines. While this is not a guarantee that she will be fine, it is a good sign.
I'm typing an additional response.

Dr Gwen :

If Bella does vomit, this may indicate she is fully obstructed with a foreign object. But I do want to mention that there are a number of other things that can make a dog vomit. If you are absolutely certain that she has swallowed something difficult to pass, it is most important that she stays hydrated to help keep her bowels able to move material. If she starts vomiting water, the only option to hydrate her is to see the vet for IV fluids or fluids under her skin.
I have seen cases of foreign objects in dogs, where with proper hydration and the owner giving a small amount of mineral oil orally one time, they are able to pass the material. This is not a standard treatment or ideal. As you already know, the best option to remove an object stuck in the intestines is with surgery.

Dr Gwen :

It can be challenging to keep a sick dog hydrated at home. I want to emphasize that you should be certain there is a foreign object in her GI tract that she is having difficulty passing before doing any treatments on her. The best way to determine this is with a veterinarian examining her and taking and x-ray or doing an ultrasound. With the many other things that can cause a dog to vomit, finding the diagnosis and starting the right treatment is the fastest way to their recovery. Since Bella is not vomiting at this point, she may have something else causing her to feel ill.

Customer:

I think I am going to try the beef and rice to see how she does. I am home with her and I know that she is drinking because she is not the "neatest" when she drinks. I will keep her in a confind area and monitor her. If she vomits, I will bring her for the xrays.

Dr Gwen :

I think that is a great plan. I hope she eats well for you and keeps everything down. If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know. Best of luck with Bella!

Customer:

Thank you for your help, appreciate the detail. Take Care!

Dr Gwen and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you