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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I am concerned my dog (80 lb pit ) may have eaten my cats

Customer Question

I am concerned my dog (80 lb pit bull) may have eaten my cats flea collar. She has been throwing up for 24 hours. At first I thought she might have been bitten by something because one side of her muzzle was swollen
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that Molly hasn't been feeling well today - I'm here to help.

When I see young dogs that are suddenly vomiting but acting relatively normally otherwise, the first couple of things I consider are infectious diseases (think stomach flu), dietary issues (I ate something that didn't agree with me) or foreign body obstructions (I ate something that's blocking my GI tract). These can range from mild things that they get over on their own, up to surgical emergencies. Obviously we have a suspicion here that Molly may fall into the "dietary indiscretion" category!

As long as their breathing is not labored, there is no abdominal distention, and their gums are pink and moist, I usually recommend holding off on giving any food or water for at least 6-8 hours from the time that they've last vomited. If they are continuing to vomit though this time, it's time to see the vet. If they stop vomiting, then I start by offering a small portion of water. If they keep that down for more than 2 hours, I offer another small amount of water and a small taste of food (1-2tsp). As long as they continue to tolerate small meals, you can gradually increase the amount of food at each sitting and increase the time in between meals. If they aren't eating at all for >24 hours, this also merits a trip to the vet.

Facial swelling is a common sign of an allergic reaction, and you are right in suspecting an insect bite or sting for this. Some dogs will also vomit or have upset stomachs when they have an allergic reaction to something, so this could still all be related. Most of these do resolve on their own with time, however some antihistamine like the benadryl can help lessen the symptoms. In more severe cases we will also sometimes use steroids like prednisone.

In terms of flea collar ingestion, how much we should worry depends on what the active ingredients were and how well she chewed the collar up. The majority of flea and tick collars on the market are going to be nontoxic in terms of the flea and tick killing chemical. The best way to get a fast answer on whether it's toxic is to call the 1-800 phone number on the packaging. If you are seeing any sort of neurologic symptoms like muscle twitching, weakness, or seizures, I'd seek emergency care. She's a large dog, so I'd expect the pieces of the collar to pass through without causing an issue, however, protracted vomiting is a sign of potential foreign body GI obstruction, so if her vomiting isn't letting up, it's definitely a good idea to get her to the vet.

I hope that this helps - please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara


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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Molly. How is everything going?
Doc Sara