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She is a 9 month old chihuahua shitzu and she ate a zipper…

Customer Question
She is a 9...

She is a 9 month old chihuahua shitzu and she ate a zipper off a pillow case

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. The Expert will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name?

Jasmine

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Jasmine?

No she's healthy and vet checked

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/20/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,393
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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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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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that Jasmine ate a metal zipper and the cloth around it off a pillow case.

That is a pretty big piece of foreign material for a small dog to eat. If she chewed it in small chunks that may pass, but of course we don't know that.

If she has just eaten cloth and you caught her within a couple hours then I would recommend that you get her to an emergency clinic to try to retrieve it via an endoscope.

If it sounds like it has been several hours it is possible that the pieces are already out of her stomach and in her intestinal tract.

I usuaully do not recommend inducing vomiting in cases where dogs eat sharp objects like a metal zipper. The chances of tearing her esophagus or stomach as it contracts to force the metal out is much too high.

If it has been several hours then my hope she at least chewed this up a little before she swallowed as that will make passage a little easier.

You have a couple options.

One is to have her seen by a veterinarian and radiographs taken to see where the material is now. If it is in her stomach and they have an endoscope they may be able to retrieve it that way. If the zipper is zinc plated this would be ideal as zinc is a toxin and can lead to stomach ulcers, bleeding, red blood cell damage, kidney and liver failure in dogs.

The other option, if it has been several hours and you cannot have her seen at an emergency clinic, is to try to get this foreign material to pass through her gastrointestinal tract. And that her stomach acid helps us by dissolving the fragments.

I recommend starting with a Vaseline (or any generic, nonscented petroleum jelly) sandwich. Take half a slice of whole wheat bread, slather with vaseline as you would peanut butter on a slice of bread, cover with the second half slice. Feed it to her bite sized piece by piece or she will make a huge vaseline mess. This adds fiber and hopefully makes the pieces slip rather than catch.

I would follow that up with a homemade bland diet with added fiber. The recipe for this is 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger or boiled, white, skinless chicken, all fats and juices drained and 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed small meals several times a day.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of canned pumpkin (not pie filling, just pumpkin) to each meal to cushion the pieces as they move through her intestinal tract. It is best to feed her 4-5 small meals a day to keep her gut moving and full and the pieces cushioned as they pass.

If she passes the pieces in her stools over the next few days then over 4-5 days you can then transition her back to her regular diet by slowly adding more regular and less bland.

The safest thing to do would be to have her examined, and try to retrieve the zipper if possible, both because it is likely to be sharp and the concerns with zinc toxicity.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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