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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15391
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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Dog has eaten half a tea towel. What do I do?

Customer Question

I think my 8 months old dog, Ralph, has eaten half a tea towel.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
How long ago did it happen? If it was less than an hour, it might be a good idea to try to induce vomiting and see if you can get him to bring it back up. How much does he weigh? Half a towel might pass in a large dog, and if it was chewed into multiple pieces might pass in a smaller dog, but there is a risk of a blockage in the intestines, which will require surgery.
Let me know if this just happened and if you want to try to induce vomiting. Do you have fresh hydrogen peroxide? It has to be in date, and still fizzy.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 15k I think. Incident about an hour and a half ago. No hydrogen peroxide available
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Usually I only try to induce vomiting if it has been an hour or less. You still could try it, but you either need peroxide, or to take him to an emergency hospital to induce vomiting with apomorphine.

An emergency clinic might be able to remove the towel with an endoscope, if it is still in the stomach and has not passed into the intestines.

Was the towel chewed into pieces? If it was all one piece, there is a greater chance of it causing a blockage.

The best thing would be to go to emergency now, to induce vomiting. If that is not an option, then all you can do is wait and see if it passes. That could take up to a week. If it causes a blockage he will stop eating, and start to vomit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long before I would see a potential issue
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

It could be tonight, it could be days from now. Keep monitoring appetite, and gum color. If he stops eating, or if he vomits, or if his gums look pale rather than bright "bubble gum" pink, he needs to be seen by your veterinarian right away.

It might be less expensive to go to emergency today, induce vomiting and have the towel come up, than having abdominal surgery in a few days. Here's hoping it passes; it always amazes me what some dogs eat and pass out a week later, without being sick.

Please let me know if this is helpful and what else I can answer.