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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 85pound lab ate an entire bag of Halls mentho-lyptus cough

Customer Question

My 85pound lab ate an entire bag of Halls mentho-lyptus cough drops.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your fellow ate an entire bag of Halls mentho-lyptus cough drops.How big was the bag (ounces)?Do these cough drops contain any xylitol?Did he eat the bag and wrappers too?How long ago did this occur?How is he feeling?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
The main concern is if this cough drop contained an artificial sweetener called xylitol.That is very toxic to dogs and if the drop contained xylitol you need to induce vomiting if she's eaten them within the past couple of hours.Induce vomiting by giving her 3% hydrogen peroxide at a dose of 3 tablespoons orally, or mixed with a little ice cream or bread chunks, then take her out and run her around to get the peroxide fizzing. If no vomiting in 10 minutes repeat the peroxide dose once.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 85 pounds even though she ate quite a few if they are xylitol free you might just see some loose stoolsIf it's been longer than an hour or you cannot induce vomiting at home and the drop contained xylitol you must get her to the emergency service.Here is a link to an article about xylitol toxicity in dogs: there is no xylitol in the drops and she didn't eat the bag or wrappers then you can take a watch and see approach, and no treatment will likely be necessary.If she ate the bag or 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 bag and 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 and juices 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.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 2 years ago.
Hi Ed,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Edward Burns. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara