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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My dog ate a 4 X 6 household sponge 2 days ago & he still

Resolved Question:

My dog ate a 4 X 6" household sponge 2 days ago & he still hasn't passed it. Last night he had diarrhea, so I gave him an Imodium pill to help with the diarrhea. He hasn't had a bowel movement yet today, but he is passing gas. I haven't seen any of the sponge pieces pass yet. Could he have a blockage or should I wait to see if he passes anything by tomorrow?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your Rottie with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

Did he rip the sponge up before swallowing it, or did he swallow it whole?

Any vomiting?

How much does he weigh, and how much Imodium did you give and how many times?

Have you been watching all his stools?

How is his appetite?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I think he chewed some of the sponge, but I couldn't get to him in time to see the last part he was trying to swallow. I'm guessing it was a larger piece because he had trouble swallowing it.


No vomiting.


He weighs 140 lbs & I gave him 1 Imodium caplet last night only.


His stools were normal until last night when he had the diarrhea. No bowel movement today at all.


His appetite has been normal & water consumption has been normal.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Ok, thanks for that information.

With the diarrhea - any mucous (so it looks jelly like), or blood in it?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It was dark & I couldn't tell what was in it. It seemed to be coming out like water
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Hmmm... ok!

I have been working on your answer and will be back shortly!

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Hi again,

You have described to me a 1 yr old Rottweiler who ate a 4X6 " sponge 2 days ago. He is eating and drinking normally. He had diarrhea last night and was given Imodium. The sponge has not appeared.

The concern, of course, is whether this is going to come through, or whether it might get trapped somewhere in the intestines and cause an obstruction.   Most things make their way through the intestines in about 24 hours. Do check all his stools until you see it! If it has not appeared within 3 days, or if he shows any signs of illness, then I start to worry.   

It may well come through without any problems whatsoever - it's amazing what I have seen come out of dogs! However, it is worthwhile for you to know what signs to look for in case it gets stuck:

- loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain (a hunched appearance, or prayer position with her front end down and bum up in the air), fever and lethargy would all be cause for concern

Here's a link with more information:

I would suggest feeding your dog something high fibre to help to push this through. Suggestions would be 3 or 4 slices of high fibre bread, or 1 cup canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not pie filling), or 1-2 cups brown rice. Give these things twice a day until the sponge appears.

Please do NOT give any more Imodium! Although we can use this safely in dogs, it SLOWS down movement of things through the intestines, and it increases absorption of fluids in the intestines which means that it would make the sponge more likely to get stuck. So, it totally counteracts the body's attempts to get the sponge out! I kind of WANT your dog to have diarrhea, as at least that tells me that the body is trying to move the sponge out!

Here is more about it:

Dogs eat the strangest things - plastic bags, children's toys, bones, bits of towel, socks, rocks and other things. Often, these foreign bodies pass through the intestinal tract, but sometimes they do not. They may get caught in the stomach or the small intestines.

The symptoms of a GI foreign body are generally vomiting, loss of appetite, depression and dehydration. If your dog consumed an object that is caught in the stomach or small intestines,you would likely see vomiting and/or loss of appetite. So, I am relieved that he is eating and drinking normally and not vomiting. THat is encouraging!

If I examined your Rottie and was concerned that the sponge was stuck, I would probably recommend x-rays to see if it were visible. A rock would show up very well on x-rays. A sponge would not show up on x-rays. It does, however, show up very well if the dog is given some barium (a type of milkshake like drink) by mouth. Then a determination can be made about how best to get this out of the dog, or whether it might move through on its own.

So, in short, feed lots of fibre and offer lots of fluids, and watch his stools closely. If he stops eating or starts vomiting, then see your veterinarian. I would expect this sponge to show up in the next 2 days!

Best wishes,

If this has been helpful, please hit the green "ACCEPT" button. If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

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