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Dr. Welton
Dr. Welton, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1451
Experience:  Licensed small animal veterinarian since 2002, practice owner since 2004.
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My dog ate a toothpick. What should I do?

Resolved Question:

My dog just ate a toothpick, she swallowed it without chewing. What should I do?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Welton replied 10 years ago.

If the dog is not struggling, gagging, and not showing any discomfort, it means that the toothpick is not stuck 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 sized 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.

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