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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15594
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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One of my dogs might have eaten some of what's in a hand

Customer Question

One of my dogs might have eaten some of what's in a hand warmer
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear you are worried about Jack. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

Was this a used hand warmer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, they took it out of a new pack, the corner of the warmer was torn and some of contents were on the floor I'm not sure if they ate any
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

These contain iron, and if Jack ate enough iron it can make him sick. Usually all the contents have to be eaten for a dog to get sick. If a small amount only was eaten, he will probably be OK.

How much does Jack weigh? About how much of the contents of the warmer might have been eaten?

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

He may have digestive upset like vomiting and diarrhea.

If his urine looks red at all, he may have gotten enough iron to need "chelation therapy" to bind the iron in his body, so if his urine remains a normal color, he is probably OK.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One dog is 35 the other is about 6, I didn't see any black stuff in their mouth, the pack as empty but on the floor
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I would watch for vomiting and diarrhea and monitor the urine. If the small dog ate all the contents, there could be problems.

I might start them on sucralfate, a prescription medication, to protect the stomach.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It has activated charcoal as an ingredient so they probably would be vomiting by now wouldn't they?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Not necessarily; the vomiting may not start for a few hours after getting the iron.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

How are they doing? Can I help with or answer anything else?

Let me know if this was helpful and if I can answer anything else.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

How is Jack doing?