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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16344
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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Benson is12 and he ate parts of a starfish last night and

Customer Question

Benson is12 and he ate parts of a starfish last night and does not feel to well today. Just looks sick and does not want to move much
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Benson 12 years and basset hound
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Benson?
Customer: Well there are several things. He takes remadol and tramadol for pain. He has cushings and that is under. Control. He takes eye drops, dex for glaucoma and has lost one eye.
JA: Our top Veterinarian is ready to take your case. Just pay the $5 fully refundable deposit and I'll fill the Veterinarian in on everything we've discussed. You can go back and forth with the Veterinarian until you're 100% satisfied. We guarantee it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question. Just like an in person consult, I have a few questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible....

About how much of the starfish did Benson get?

Is he eating/drinking normally?

Is his belly hard to the touch or soft?

Any vomiting at all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Probably half of one, he drank some in the middle of the night but not now, feels hard to the touch but he is lying down no vominting that I can see
Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.

Any attempting to vomit with no success?

​Can you estimate how big the starfish was initially?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has been hacking but nothing coming out. Probably about 10 inches across
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I give him some Pepcid
Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.

Great. Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.
​Most starfish that are used for ornamentation aren't toxic, so we don't need to worry too much about that. Usually we see some digestive upset, such as vomiting, from the irritation to the digestive tract, but toxicity risk is very low.
However, something we do have to worry about would be the risk of intestinal obstruction. This is what happens when a dog eats something too big or too bulky to pass through the digestive tract the normal way, and gets caught up in a loop of intestine. When this happens, the whole digestive tract grinds to a halt and it can be fatal if left untreated.
I'm not sure exactly what we're dealing with when it comes to Benson, but the hard stomach and wretching makes me worry that he could be starting an obstruction.
If this were me, I'd have him seen by a vet today. If your normal vet isn't open, you can take him to an emergency vet in your area. If you're not sure where one is, you can go to: and plug in your zip code. They'll point you in the direction of the one nearest to you.
Hopefully this is just some digestive upset, but it's better to have him seen and get a quick x-ray so they can tell if the pieces are moving through the system or if they're caught.

I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well this star fish is from the ocean and was left outside to dry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was still soft but drying out. We are on Sanibel which is why it was left out to dry
Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.

Same principal applies. Starfish, even when fresh from the ocean and wet, can cause an obstruction. Most often we see dried starfish, but the same thing would be the issue with a fresh or even partly dried one.