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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16534
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog just ate the preservative packet inside the full life

Customer Question

Hi. My dog just ate the preservative packet inside the full life omega sticks bag. It's a dark charcoal like gritty powder and I tested it with a magnet. The magnet drew up the particles. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

I understand that you are concerned about your girl ingesting iron pellets from an oxygen absorber packet found in full life omega sticks.

These packets do contain reduced iron and if enough if that is ingested it can be toxic. She is a small dog if she is a terrier so we do need to be more concerned than if she were a big dog (like a Labrador retriever).

Ingestions of less than 2.27mg – 9 mg/pound of body weight of elemental iron typically result in mild signs but are not likely to result in significant toxicity. 9 - 27.27 mg/pound of body weight of elemental iron can cause mild to moderate signs of toxicity, and eating more than 27.27mgs per pound of body weight can lead to serious poisoning or death. Eating between 45mgs and 113mgs per pound are potentially lethal.

Most iron-based oxygen absorbers contain 50% elemental iron and typical sizes of oxygen scavenger sachets range in size from 2–30 grams (2000mgs - 30,000mgs) so ingesting a toxic amount is easily possible.

Toxicity can cause direct damage to the lining of her gastrointestinal tract, (leading to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and gastrointestinal bleeding, sometimes severe), damage to the cells in her body leading to liver damage and difficulty clotting (the liver produces clotting factors) shock, and death. Very rarely we can see strictures forming in the stomach which cause an obstruction 2–8 weeks after eating the iron.

At this point I would recommend that you induce vomiting by giving her 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds of body weight soaked up with bread chunks, or mixed with ice cream or a little food (no more than 3 tablespoons at a time even for a pup greater than 35 pounds).

Then take her outside and run her around to get the peroxide bubbling so she vomits.

If no vomiting in 10 minutes repeat the peroxide dose once.

If she vomits and seems to clear her stomach and be done I would check to see if the packet and inside material is present.

If you don't have peroxide then taking her to an emergency clinic to induce vomiting.

Once she clears her stomach to try and settle her stomach today you can give an acid reducing medication to protect her gastrointestinal tract. This will reduce the amount of iron that she will be able to absorb. You can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours


2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hours

These should be given for two weeks minimally.

If you notice diarrhea, especially if it is bloody, she should be seen by a veterinarian. If she has a tense painful abdomen, refuses to eat, or seems very lethargic she should see a veterinarian.

If you want to be extra safe even if she seems normal seeing her veterinarian tomorrow and checking her liver enzyme levels would be ideal.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara