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He just chewed on a 300mg lithium capsule, it doesn't look…

He just chewed on...

He just chewed on a 300mg lithium capsule, it doesn't look like he ate all of it, i just found half of the capsule on the floor and a bunch of powder he's 8 lbs

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

Freddie

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

Not that i can think of

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/24/2018
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,968
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
Verified

Hello,
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm a licensed veterinarian with more than twenty years of experience. I'm here to help with your question about Freddie and the lithium capsule. I'm so sorry you are having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in ,what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. I'll do my best to earn your good rating, because that's the only way I receive any compensation for helping you. In the meantime, in order to help me help you better, I'll need some more information. To start with, can you please tell me:

  • What kind of dog is Freddie?
  • Is he otherwise healthy and on no medications?
  • Exactly how long ago did this happen?
  • How is Freddie acting right now?

I'll be standing by and awaiting your reply. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
freddie is a miniature poodle. he's healthy on no meds. this happened maybe within the last 5 mins. he's throwing up.

Thank you for the quick reply.

I'm glad he's throwing up; that will help get rid of some/most of it.

Can you please clarify for me if this is lithium citrate or lithium carbonate?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
lithium carbonate

(and, yes... vomiting is the most commonly reported side effect of a lithium overdose)....

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
he's drinking water now
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
now he's sitting next to me, he seems ok, but i'm still worried.

That's okay to let him do, as long as it's not an excessively large amount or seems to make him continue to throw up.

*typing more...

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
he just drank a little bit. when he vomitted it was just a little bit and there was some food, not totally digested.

I understand. I wish I had better news for you, but you're right to still be worried. Lithium overdoses are potentially very dangerous, and can even be life-threatening.

Even "normal" doses of lithium can cause problems for dogs, and the normal dose for a dog Freddie's size would be about 40mg. That means the whole capsule (which we know he didn't get quite all) would be a 7x overdose for him. That's pretty significant.

Because he's already thrown up, the next important step to take is to get him to an emergency center as quickly as possible. Please do that ASAP if it's possible. It would be super risky to try to wait this out at home, and there aren't any home remedies as options (since he's already thrown up).

Again... I'm really sorry I don't have better news for you. It's important to take this very seriously.

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Will you be able to get him to the ER?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
no, the closest one is closed, and the next one is in san diego i don't drive.

I understand. I know this is an awful situation to be in...

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
thank you for your help.

Without the option of veterinary care, our only hope is that the amount he ingested was small enough, and that he threw up enough of it, for the rest of the effects to simply wear off without any other symptoms.

Typing more...

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Besides the vomiting, we can also expect him to be lethargic. Neither of those things particularly means this is going to turn out to be a lethal overdose.

It's possible he could recover with no additional treatment.

It all depends on the size of the dose he received.

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The fact that he vomited a little bit of food (which he presumably ate before the lithium exposure) is very encouraging. That makes it more likely that he's thrown up most of the lithium he ate.

That's encouraging and a reason to be hopeful.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
thank you, i'll take him to the vet in the morning for a follow up if he makes it, thank you for your time.

Also, it's worth noting that it is not indicated to try to give activated charcoal at home. It doesn't absorb lithium...

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A follow up is a good idea, and please do not lose hope.

With a comfy bed and the night to sleep it off, it is still possible he can pull through.

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Also encouraging is this statistic from the ASPCA regarding single event overdoses like Freddie's had tonight...

"There were 189 single agent exposures to lithium reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) during 2009-2013. Of the 155 dogs, 36 were symptomatic with 61% vomiting and 33% lethargic. Of the 35 cats, 9 were symptomatic with 67% vomiting."

No fatalities.

Please keep up hope.

It's a dangerous drug and potentially lethal, but no reports of lethal overdoses with one exposure.

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I'll be thinking about you and Freddie and remaining hopeful that he shows nothing more than this upset stomach and some lethargy. Please send an update in the morning.

Thank you.

Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,968
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
Verified
Dr. Jo and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
thank you i will
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Dr. Jo, after i went offline he threw up one more time and since then he's been very normal. he's doing really well. :) thank you!

I'm so glad to hear things turned out well! Thank you for letting me know. This makes my day.

Peace and happiness to you and Freddie.

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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,968
2,968 Satisfied Customers
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.

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