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He has a bowel obstruction with a baby wipe for 5 days.

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He has a bowel...

He has a bowel obstruction with a baby wipe for 5 days. Drinking water no eating. Lethargic. Vet states consider surgery tomorrow but I’m reading that it is likely too late?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name?

Rocky- he is a Bernese mountain dog

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/31/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
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Satisfied Customers: 20,285
Experience: 15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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Hello, I'm Dr. Bruce. I have over 17 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. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about this situation with Rocky. Is he having vomiting? When did you last have him seen by your vet? Why do they feel he has a bowel obstruction?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
He was seen yesterday and given iv fluids and metoclopromide and Pepcid. They did X-ray and showed the obstruction in the intestine. Today went back for more fluid and X-ray showed it moved a little. He’s on subcutaneous metoclopromide due for another dose now. Still lethargic no bowel movement and not eating
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

Ok. IF there is a bowel obstruction, then there is going to be a point in time where things are going to be in a very bad way for him. When is that time? That is the unknown. Some dogs can have really bad situations happen in a couple days while others have a lot longer time before the really serious situations arise. What determines when the critical time arises? It depends on what is causing the blockage and where. Some things put a lot more pressure on the intestinal tract wall and can start to cut through / poke through faster than other things. What happens when it starts to perforate is it causes an infection in the abdomen. In this situation with Rocky, if they are that worried about a blockage, then an exploratory would seem to be a very viable next step.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
do I keep giving him the metoclopromide? And what is the prognosis after surgery?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
What do you mean by things getting bad? How much worse could they get? And he ate baby wipes so I don’t know that they would perforate anything
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

Personally, I don't like to use metoclopramide if I'm thinking there is an intestinal blockage. It promotes intestinal motility, but if there is a blockage, it can in theory make it work harder and maybe be counterproductive if there is a blockage. With intestinal blockages, the worst outcome is a perforation that leads to a peritonitis that leads to death. I want to have that on the table so you can understand where the worst is and then work back from there. Not all foreign material that is ingested leads down this path. Some will be in the intestinal tract and pass through slowly. A blockage would be much more worrisome if he was vomiting and not eating / drinking. If Rocky is still drinking and not vomiting, then those are two pluses for him.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I will hold on giving him the injection tonight and take him to emergency tomorrow. He is drinking but not eating. How long could this take to pass through? He ate them on Tuesday.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

Material that is eaten that isn't digestible can take an undetermined time to pass. Some things can pass through in a couple days if not impeded. Some can take longer if they are filling up the lumen of the intestinal tract and moving slowly. Some can sit in the stomach for many, many days before even attempting to pass. IN a situation like this with him, it may be reasonable to do a barium series. This is a non-invasive diagnostic step to see if there is further push for an exploratory. He would swallow a dye and watch over time (a few hours) how it passes with radiographs being taken. It again is good he's drinking (as long as he's not vomiting).

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
He was vomiting until the doctor gave him the fluid and injections.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Now he is drinking the water a little and just laying around. He goes outside and won’t come back in - he is lethargic
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

I would in this situation say that the worry is there in a high enough manner that an exploratory with your vet is a very good next step. An exploratory is a chance to rule in / out this situation and to then possibly correct it. Foreign material that is stuck can again become very critical at some point. It is better to be sooner than later in getting a true blockage to surgery.

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