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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28932
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My Dog Ate Chapstick. Should I Be Worried?

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Thursday night my dog found my chapstick (EOS Lip Balm) and ate the contents. Pretty positive she didn't swallow any plastic. I am pretty sure I have all of the pieces. She acted fine when she went to bed. Friday morning around 9am she spit up white filmy stuff. Later on she would do this a couple more times and when we took her out she wanted to eat grass. I haven't seen if she has had diarrhea or not. The rest of the day she was quiet and lethargic and not wanting to eat or drink and that morning her stomach was obviously not happy. It was making all kinds of noise. That night we thought she was starting to come around. She ate a few bits of food and drank a little water. Today (sat) she was still pretty quiet and tired and she has only eaten a few bites of food and a little water. Just earlier she didn't drink a good bit of water then a little while ago she spit up again. So here I am. Should I be worried? Do I need to take her to the vet?

You're allowed to be worried but I don't believe that a vet visit is indicated at this time. The EOS Lip Balm doesn't contain anything toxic to a dog but shea butter and jojoba oil are unfamiliar to Allie's gastrointestinal tract and may cause just what you're seeing. I don't encourage food in these patients. I believe resting their GI tracts is more appropriate by performing a 24 hour fast. Water should be left down but if drinking precipitates more vomiting it should be replaced by ice cubes that Allie can lick instead. Oral medications, too, should be avoided as they may irritate an already irritated GI tract. I would expect Allie to remiss completely within 72 hours of the onset of her symptoms.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Didn't know the fasting treatment. Everyone has told me the rest the past few days. However, I like my peace of mind. :)

Could her symptoms exceed 72 hours? I guess, after googling, I was expecting her to have some diahrrea to get it out of her system but that didn't happen.

Diarrhea might be in the offing! It's not uncommon for diarrhea to follow vomiting as the offending ingesta passes farther down the GI tract. Yes, according to my texts simple vomiting and/or diarrhea such as Allie is demonstrating can last up to 5 days before remission. Having her seen is really predicated upon how much fluid/electrolytes is being lost in her vomitus and/or diarrhea. We recommend these dogs be seen sooner than later if dehydration is evidenced by a lethargic "dish rag" dog. I don't think this is a likely eventuality in Allie, however.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Just took her out to use the bathroom. She didn't want/need to pee, she wanted to eat grass. It is true that dogs eat grass when their stomachs hurt, right?

Yes, that behavior is probably of evolutionary benefit. Non-digestible grass often causes vomiting thus removing infection and non-digestible ingesta from the uncomfortable stomach. I think it best that she doesn't eat grass; she's vomited enough.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

As I finished reading your last answer she threw all that up. She has no real interest in ice at the moment though I think all I am worried about now is if she gets dehydrated.Thanks for your info and answering my questions. It is much appreciated.

15 minutes ago Allie crawled under the bed and vomited a yellowish bile looking liquid. But after she kinda seemed like that made her feel better. Normal?

Yes, apparently her GI tract is still affected by that lip balm. If she's otherwise stable continue her fast for the full 24 hours. When you reintroduce food offer something very bland in small quantities - chicken breast (sans skin) and rice or well-drained chopped lean beef and rice. If vomiting continues withhold food further and consider having a prescription anti-emetic given to Allie by her vet (maropitant/Cerenia) on Monday.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is there anything over-the-counter like pepto we can give her in the meantime? If so she is between 50-60 lbs, for the dosage.

It's best to avoid PeptoBismol because it contains a salicylate - an aspirin-type drug that can irritate her GI tract further. The over the counter antacid famotidine (Pepcid) given at a dose of 0.05mg/lb might afford her some comfort - all that acid reflux irritates her esophagus. I do prefer, however, that nothing other than water goes down the front hatch until vomiting ceases.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
graphic Other than being picky about what she eats, she's back to her hyper, mischievous self! Thank you!