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He got ahold of a hand warmer. Given what was left, I don't…

Customer Question
He got ahold of...

He got ahold of a hand warmer. Given what was left, I don't think he got much of it, but he has thrown up. Took him to the ER Vet, who said we should call poison control.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Did you see what the dog ate?

I'm not sure that he ate much of it, but he tore open a hand warmer. Most of it was on the ground, including the bag. The vet was absolutely useless.

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

No, he's in great health, 11 month old terrier mix, about 15 lbs

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 7 hours by:
12/9/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,798
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. These hand warmers contain a mixture of iron powder, activated charcoal, vermiculite, sodium chloride, and water. Iron powder accounts for about 50% of the weight (range 95-120 g). There are no reports of elemental iron or iron oxides ingestion causing iron toxicity and no published data on the absorption, elimination, adverse effects, or toxicities in humans after unintentional ingestion of hand warmer contents. A single oral dose toxicity test of hand warmer contents (2 g/kg) resulted in no toxicity or deaths in ten rats. Ingestions of one hand warmer packet or less can be treated with observation and supportive care as needed. The lack of toxicity is consistent with animal studies. It appears unlikely that significant toxicity will occur after the ingestion of one hand warmer packet. The ingestion of larger amounts might lead to iron-related toxicity and may justify more aggressive management.

May I have an update on your dog, please?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
He threw up a total of 3 times, about 10 hours ago. Seems to be his normal self. I am almost confident that he got a very minimal amount of the powder, judging by how much I found left, and vacuumed out of the carpet.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Thank you for the good update. As with ingesting anything unusual transient gastrointestinal distress in the form of inappetence, vomiting and/or diarrhea can arise but he wasn't intoxicated. He'll do nicely now. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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