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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14858
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian
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Our 35 pound lab mix ate about 25 Ricola cough drops with

Customer Question

Our 35 pound lab mix ate about 25 Ricola cough drops with wrappers when I was at the doctor. I think, which could have been two hours ago or it could have been more recently when I was downstairs. They were NOT the sugar free kind. She was eager for her dinner which I gave her before I discovered the torn up bag and she looks fine. With her dinner she had the usual 100 mg trazadone tablet prescribed for her anxious behaviors. I can try to make her vomit although it is raining outside and I'm quite ill with this virus. DRAT.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your girl ate 25 Riccola cough drops.

The main concern is if these cough drop contained an artificial sweetener called xylitol. That is very toxic to dogs and if the drop contained xylitol you would need to induce vomiting, so I am glad that they did not contain xylitol.

Other ingredients in cough drops, such as menthol and sugars, can cause stomach upset and maybe some diarrhea but no long term effects. The bigger she is the less likely that these ingredients will be problematic for her, so given she is 35 pounds even though she ate quite a few if they are xylitol free you might just see some loose stools.

The wrappers are a bit of a concern as if they wad up in her gastrointestinal that can cause a blockage. If they are paper wrappers then her stomach juices should be able to break those down and a blockage is very, very unlikely.

If it's been longer than a couple hours it may be too late to induce vomiting anyway.

Then you can take a watch and see approach, and no treatment will likely be necessary.

Since she ate the wrappers too, to help get them to pass I recommend starting with a vaseline sandwich. Take a slice of whole wheat bread, slather with vaseline as you would peanut butter on a slice of bread, cover with a second slice. Feed it to her bite sized piece by bite sized piece or she will make a huge vaseline mess. This adds fiber and hopefully makes the wrapper pieces slip rather than catch.

For the next few days, until the pieces pass, she'll need to be fed a bland diet with lots of fiber added in small meals several times a day, 4 to 6 meals is ideal. We do this so the pieces are surrounded, and the gut isn't irritated contracting on plastic, and they don't bunch up and cause an obstruction.

A homemade diet for this is 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger or boiled, white, skinless chicken, all fats drained off the meat, and 2/3 boiled, white rice. Add 2-4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin, (not pie filling, just pumpkin), to each meal for fiber. This diet will also help prevent diarrhea.

Since she just ate dinner for now I would feed her the vaseline sandwich, and follow later with the bland diet high fiber food mix.

You'll need to check her stools frequently for pieces in the next few days.

Signs that things aren't going well, and she needs an immediate veterinary visit, are vomiting, a tense painful belly, lack of an appetite, a fever (more than 103.5F rectally) and lethargy.

If you aren't seeing fragments in the next day or two a veterinary visit is an option.

If it doubt at all that things aren't going well it is always best to have her checked.

Once the pieces are passed and she's feeling well then start mixing in her regular food, adding a little more regular and less bland at each meal. It should take a week to get her converted back to regular food.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you found my response helpful, please don't forget to rate it so I may receive credit for it.