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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16878
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 12 week old 20 lb black lab puppy just ate most of a 3+

Customer Question

Hi, My 12 week old 20 lb black lab puppy just ate most of a 3+ month old terro ant trap using 5.4% borax. Is the advice to wait and see still valid in an animal this young?
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'd like to help.

I'm sorry to hear that your little girl got into something she should not have.

Dogs are very attracted to ant traps because they have a huge sweet tooth, and ant traps use sugar to attract the ants to the traps so this is a common problem.

Did she chew up and ingest the trap itself or just ingest the contents?

The good news is that if she just licked the inside sodium tetraborate is a fairly safe chemical. It is a dessicant, which is how it works on insects, but a dog would have to eat huge quantities to even see stomach upset and that would be the only thing you are likely to see. It is likely will have no effects, or very mild effects from the contents of one trap.

You should not need to do anything unless you see symptoms.

If she ingested the plastic trap that will be more concerning. That can cause a blockage or tear the gastrointestinal tract.

To help guard against that I recommend starting with a vaseline sandwich. Take a half slice of whole wheat bread, slather with vaseline as you would peanut butter on a slice of bread, cover with the second half slice. Feed it to her piece by piece or she will make a huge vaseline mess. This adds fiber and hopefully makes the 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, the gut isn't irritated by contracting on just sharp plastic.

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 white rice. Add 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin, (not pie filling, just pumpkin), to each meal for fiber.

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.

But if she didn't eat the plastic, no worries she will very likely be fine.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you found my response helpful, please don't forget to rate it so I may receive credit for it.