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Our thirty pound Shiba Inu wolfed down a popsicle stick

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Hi. Our thirty pound Shiba...
Hi. Our thirty pound Shiba Inu wolfed down a popsicle stick three days ago and we have been monitoring. Today was the first day he vomited. He has since eaten and had water but not vomited again. We are concerned as we have limited funds right now that we put our resources in the right care. I've been reading x-rays don't show popsicle sticks and most vets advise monitoring when dog stops eating and drinking. Should we look for anything other than blood in stool (he's had none, seemed to puke up a hair ball). After two large poops (second one, diarrhea which he struggles with sometimes without even eating a popsicle stick, swallowed whole actually), he's acting normal again, just napping. Kept water and food down.
Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
7/2/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 11 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,610
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Ok thank you
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 11 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that your fellow Koji ate a popsicle stick whole three days ago and has vomited once.

I'm glad to hear that he is still playful, bright and alert but his vomiting episode is of concern, and means he bears close watching.
It is still possible that he has a partial obstruction or that the popsicle stick is still in his stomach, though I would expect more symptoms of nausea. Having a foreign body in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to abnormal gastrointestinal motility, thus his episode of vomiting and loose stool.

Please do NOT use castor oil or any sort of irritant or stimulant laxative. Those lead to hyperspastic bowel contractions which make getting the stick stuck or a perforation more likely.
At this point you have a couple choices.
One is to have him seen by a veterinary clinic with an endoscope to try and see if the popsicle stick is still in his stomach and can be retrieved. That seems out of reach financially for you.
The other option is to try further home therapy with close, watchful observation of him.

If you choose to try further home treatment we need to hope that his stomach acid helps us by dissolving it into easier to pass fragments.
To help him I recommend starting with a Vaseline (or any generic, non-scented petroleum jelly) 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 him bite sized piece by piece or he 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 stick passes, he'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 stick or its pieces are surrounded, the gut isn't irritated contracting on just wood.
A homemade diet for this is 1/3 boiled hamburger or boiled, white, skinless chicken, all fats and juices drained and 2/3 boiled, plain, white rice. Add 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin, (not pie filling, just pumpkin), to each meal for fiber. You can use Metamucil (or generic psyllium fiber) instead, just make sure to add lots of water or broth to his meals to avoid dehydration and dry, compacted stools.
You'll need to check his stools frequently for pieces in the next few days.

Signs that things aren't going well, and he needs an immediate veterinary visit, are repeated episodes of vomiting, a tense painful belly, lack of an appetite, a fever (more than 103.5F rectally) and lethargy.

If you aren't seeing at least 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 him checked.

If things go well and the pieces are passed and he's feeling well then start mixing in his regular food, adding a little more regular and less bland at each meal. It should take a week to get him converted back to regular food.
Let me know if you have any questions.

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