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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16924
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I came home to a chewed up aluminum can. it mostly appears

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i came home to a chewed up aluminum can. it mostly appears that it's all still there and that it was just chewed up, but i'm worried that a few shards ended up getting eaten.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Expert will know if the dog will be able to digest that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: probably not. he just recovered from pneumonia, but i feel the two are isolated.

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.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thank you. he seems to be completely okay and i'm pretty sure he just chewed on it because he found it in the trash and thought it was a toy.

I'm sorry to hear that your fellow chewed up an aluminum can and I understand your concern that he may have swallowed some pieces.

I don't that him chewing up the can is related to him having pneumonia, except it sounds he has recovered enough and feels well enough to be mischievous.

I do not recommend inducing vomiting in cases where dogs may have eaten sharp objects like metal shards. The chances of tearing their esophagus or stomach as it contracts to force the sharp pieces out is much too high.

In this case we need to try and hope that we can get any possible shards to pass through his gastrointestinal tract safely.

To help I recommend starting with feeding him a Vaseline (or any generic 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 shards pass, 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 pieces are surrounded, the gut isn't irritated by contracting on just sharp metal.
You can feed a homemade bland, higher fiber diet. You can make a homemade diet mix with 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger or boiled, white, skinless chicken, all fats drained off of the meat, and 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Add 2-4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin, (not pie filling, just pumpkin), to each meal for fiber.

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 vomiting, a tense painful belly, lack of an appetite, a fever (more than 103.5F rectally), frank blood or black tarry stools, and lethargy.

If you aren't seeing fragments in the next day or two a veterinary visit and an abdominal radiograph to see where the shards are is an option. Most metal will show up on radiographs, though not all. If in doubt at all that things aren't going well it is always best to have him checked.

Once 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.

The pieces should pass within the next 3-5 days.
Let me know if you have any questions.

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

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
hello...we followed your advice and he seems to be doing great...luckily, he's moved onto just chewing up cardboard and sometimes his toys. thank you again for your help...we really appreciate it!!

You are very welcome, I am glad to hear that all is well and at least he is chewing on softer things!