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My basset hound (6.5 yrs old, 35lbs) ate a mussel shell. I…

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Hi. My basset hound...

Hi. My basset hound (6.5 yrs old, 35lbs) ate a mussel shell. I heard him chew it up but got to him too late and he swallowed it. He seems fine. (in fact, I think he wants another!). Should I try to induce vomiting? Should I take him in? Or just monitor him for the next day or so?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know if your dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name?

Wilson

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Wilson?

He had something similar happen prior to this incident. He chewed a lamb femur to pieces and swallowed them. The pieces were too sharp and it was risky to induce vomiting. So, he needed surgery to cut his stomach open and remove the little bone fragments before it went through the intestine. I'm hoping to avoid that as it was risky and costly.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 hours by:
12/9/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 6 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,043
Experience: Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Verified

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but wanted to touch base with you about Wilson.

First, similar to bone we never want to induce vomiting with anything that may have sharp edges like bones or shells as they could damage the throat (which are difficult to repair surgically). Instead, provided he is still well in himself, we'd want to supportive care and close monitoring approach to this situation. To start, we will want to feed him small meals of a light diet. Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Ideally, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep his stomach settled. Whichever you choose to offer, you can add some fiber (ie a spoonful of tinned pumpkin or all bran) to the food to bulk up his stool and push this through the intestines. As well, you can also add a dose of a GI lubricant (ie cat hairball medication Miralax, lactulose or food grade mineral oil). These can be beneficial for getting the shell bits slipping through the gut.

While doing this, we do need to keep a close eye on Wilson. Red flags of trouble or obstruction include restlessness, lethargy, vomiting with blood or coffee ground type material, inability to keep any food or water down, anorexia, pale gums, belly pain, straining to pass feces or passage of black feces (digested blood). If you see these signs, then having him seen would be best for his vet to have a feel of his belly +/- an xray to see where everything is and whether it will pass on its own.

Overall, situations like these always require us to be on our toes and tread with care. At this stage, we can consider the above steps for him while keeping a close eye. Though if we see any of those other signs, then we'd want him examined +/- x-rayed to assess if we have any risk here. Otherwise we'd hope to use the above to push this through and out the other end over the next 48 hours.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 6 months ago
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I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.
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