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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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What to do if my dog ate a ham bone and is throwing up?

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My dog ate some ham bone a few hrs ago and has been throwing up and shaking. What can I give her?

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!

I would like to help you and Pinky with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

How many times has she vomited?

What has been in the vomitus - bits of bones? bits of food? blood? anything that looked like chocolate or like coffee grounds?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She has vomited several times. First with bits of bone and food. Later it looked like the ham bone digested and now watery. I live out in the country and have limited items to give her. No blood is in the vomit.

Ok, that is good that there is no visible blood!
And how many minutes/hours has it been since she last vomited?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Vomiting as we speak. It is 4:45 AM now and she has had a problem off and on since 12 AM.

Oh, boy!
It is really hard to help her with anything you might have at home, as it would have to be given by mouth and if she is vomiting this frequently, then nothing you give by mouth is going to stay down.
I really wish there were something I could suggest you do at home. Normally, for gastric upset, I would suggest some Pepcid AC (famotidine).
You can buy it at your local pharmacy.

Legally, I cannot prescribe medications for a dog that I have not seen!

However, I can tell you that in a 12 lb dog that I had examined, I would use ½ of a 10mg tablet every 8 hours for 4 days. Then, I would drop to ½ of a tablet every 12 hours for 3 days.

Here is more about famotidine, including dose:

Unfortunately, I really don't think this is going to help little Pinky as she is simply going to vomit the pepcid back up before it has a chance to work. I am very worried about her, as it certainly sounds like the bones are not moving through her intestines.

I don't know if she has brought up ALL the bone, or if there is some remaining. It may be hard to determine. I am worried there may still be a big chunk in there, too big to come back up.
I would suggest you remove all food and water for 4 hours. If she drinks, she is likely to vomit again, and will then end up even more dehydrated than if she had not drunk at all. After 4 hours, you could start to offer little bits of water - about 1 tablespoon every 15 mins.
I'm concerned that the bone is acting as a <!-- @page { margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } A:link { so-language: zxx } --Gastrointestinal Foreign Body.

Dogs eat the strangest things - plastic bags, children's toys, bones, bits of towel, socks, rocks and other things. Often, these foreign bodies pass through the intestinal tract, but sometimes they do not. They may get caught in the stomach or the small intestines.
The symptoms of a GI foreign body are generally vomiting, loss of appetite, depression and dehydration. If the bone is caught in the stomach or small intestines, it might explain the symptoms that you are seeing.

In the case of an obstruction, surgery is often needed to remove the foreign object. I will include further information about GI foreign bodies:

If I examined your girl and was concerned about a foreign body, I would probably recommend x-rays to see if a foreign object were visible. A bone would show up very well on x-rays.

If there is an emergency veterinarian available in whatever city is nearest to you, I would certainly recommend taking Pinky in there. If there is none available, then please do plan to be on your vets doorstep when they open. Do not phone to make an appointment - just BE THERE as this really is an emergency!
Poor Pinky - I do hope that she will be feeling better soon! She likely needs some medications given by injection (so she cannot vomit them up) to stop the vomiting and may need fluids given by injection to rehydrate her.
I wish there were more I could suggest to do at home!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She just tanked up on water so I'll keep what you say in mind. She has stopped shaking so maybe the ham bone has dissolved as it is softer than other bone??? Thanks for your help.

Oh, I sure hope that she stops vomiting!
If she keeps the water down for 30 mins, you could try give her the pepcid!
Then, assuming no more vomiting, there are some things you can do at home until you can get her in to the vet:

1. WITH-HOLD FOOD until it has been 24 hours since she last vomited. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.

2. When she is fasting, she can have lots of clear fluids. Wait until it has been 4 hours since she last vomited, and give small amounts of plain water to start.

So, water is fine, but if she keeps that down for 2 hours, she can then have pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water. Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about ¼ to ½ cup an hour.

3. After 24 hours without vomiting, you can start your dog back on a bland diet.

For patients that I see, I recommend a mixture of 75% cooked white rice, and 25% low fat protein. For the protein you could use extra lean ground beef, boiled with the fat scooped off, or chicken breast boiled with fat scooped off or even scrambled egg cooked without fat in the microwave. Feed small frequent meals. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2 or 3 tablespoons every 3 to 4 hours.

4. After 1-2 days on the rice mix, you would gradually change your dog back to the normal dog food. So, on day 3, give the rice mixture, but bigger meals, spaced further apart. On day 4, mix a little tiny bit of the normal food in there, and decrease the frequency so it is down to 3 meals or so. And so on.

5. Keep your dog as quiet as possible - just out to relieve herself and back in.

If your dog continues to vomit, develops blood in the stool, is lethargic or shows signs of abdominal pain, please contact a veterinarian promptly.

I do hope that this helps you to help your dog!

Dr.Fiona and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you