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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Our dog, Buster, a 75 lb pitbull got into my dad's insulin

Customer Question

Our dog, Buster, a 75 lb pitbull got into my dad's insulin syringes (31g x 5/16") and started gnawing on them.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. How old is Buster?
Customer: We have all but one needle accounted for and am wondering what to do - we've read to give him Vaseline to help coat the intestinal tract. If we do that, and monitor him, is it possible to wait to contact our regular vet tomorrow?
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Buster?
Customer: He's about 6 years old (we're not quite sure as he's adopted)
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long ago could he have ingested this?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He started gnawing on them about 45 mins ago, maybe. He's not doing any of the the things you've mentioned above but he is acting guilty (which is normal when he knows he does wrong) but he's acting a little differently. His gums are pink and moist.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
When his belly is pressed he looks uncomfortable and it's a little bloated.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Great, I am glad to see he hasn't those urgent worrisome signs I asked about.

Though we do need to tread with care since needles can perforate the gut leading to bacterial infection in the abdomen. Now with that in mind, the ideal option would be to have him seen now for an xray to see if he did eat this. If he did and its still in the stomach, the local vet can remove it with a scope and avoid any risk.

If that isn't an option for any reason, I'd not give Buster plain Vaseline but suggest making a "Vaseline sandwich" to your lad. This will sound odd but can be helpful as the bread will coat the needle to reduce the perforation risk and the Vaseline will help it slide through. To make this, just take a slice of whole wheat bread, slather with Vaseline (as if you were buttering it) and cover with a second slice. Feed it to Buster piece by piece to avoid a mess. Following this you can keep things moving by adding a spoonful of canned or your cooked pumpkin to a light diet (ie rice with boiled chicken, white fish, cottage cheese or scrambled egg) for the next few days to help bulk up his feces and push it through.

While doing this we do want to monitor him closely for any complications or adverse signs. Specifically, we'd want to watch out for would be vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, belly pain, excessive panting, paling gums, blood in vomit/feces, straining to pass feces, or a darkening of his feces. If we see any of these signs, then that would be a cue to get him to the vet immediately for an examination +/- xray. But as long as he is comfortable you can closely monitor him to see if he can pass that needle with the above "encouragement".

Overall, this type of ingestion is a real worry since it can lacerate the gut and be potentially be fatal. Therefore, we have to be very careful here. So, scoping is ideal but if you cannot have that done you can start the above while monitoring him carefully. Though any of those warning signs and we'd need him seen right away.

In this situation, just in case you do wish to see an emergency vet, you can check HERE and @ http://www.vetlocator.com/.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.