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Dr. Amanda
Dr. Amanda, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 799
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian
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Terri - I think my dog swallowed a spiky burr and I can tell

Customer Question

Hi Terri - I think my dog swallowed a spiky burr and I can tell he's having some discomfort in the back of his throat with it. He's licking his lips and sounds the same as when he has sinusitis.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


My name is***** Dr. Terri is not on-line this evening so I will be able to help you. Does he have any nasal discharge, sneezing or coughing?

Can you open your dog's mouth and examine the back of his throat?

Do he like to chew on spiky burrs, or maybe sticks or grass?

Please let me know the answers to the questions so that I can help you and Norton this evening,

Dr. Amanda

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I stuck my fingers down the back of his throat and did not feel any remnant of the burr. Normally he doesn't like to chew on sticks or burrs, but didn't remove it and noticed a half hour later that most of it was gone. No sneezing, or nasal discharge, and I wouldn't describe the noise as coughing, really. He has allergies, and when he's stuffed up, he stretches his neck and tries to clear his throat. That's what it sounds like.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Ah, okay. That is very helpful.

Has he eaten or drank anything since you checked his throat? Could there be something stuck further down his esophagus?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He ate some pasta, which I gave him to try and push whatever it was down. He's licking his lips a lot, but seems to be calming down. I just don't know what symptoms to look for that would warrant an ED visit. I'm thinking the burr (either entire or partial or whatever portion he swallowed) is making its way down. What should I keep an eye out for?
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Hopefully the burr that he swallowed is very small and won't cause any problems.

You can try giving him some pepcid- the dose is 0.5mg per pound of body weight.

I would also ensure that he is eating and drinking normally and that it seems to be passing into his stomach normally. If the small amounts of food are passing normally, I would also feed him double fiber bread, as this can help push any small foreign material down the intestines and out in the poop.

If you see the following things, I would recommend taking him to the ER this evening-


unable or unwilling to swallow

regurgitation (food coming out of mouth without retching like vomiting)


If the pepcid and high fiber foods don't help and he is still licking his lips in the morning, you will still need to take him to the ER in the morning.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He takes Pepcid regularly..... 0.25mg, so I doubled it. And instead of fiber bread, will Metamucil suffice?
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Metamucil is not great, as it is a soluble fiber, so it dissolves in water and won't provide a push to foreign material.

The double fiber bread contains large amounts of insoluble fiber (stays solid in water) and this bulks the feces and literally pushes the foreign material out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much Dr. Amanda. I'm gonna watch over him like a hawk tonight.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Okay, good luck. I will be on-line for about another hour and back again tomorrow evening if you have any more questions.

Dr. A

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


How is Norton this evening? Any more problems with smacking his lips or acting like he swallowed something? Do you have any more questions for me?

Dr. Amanda

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Dr. Amanda, thanks so much for checking in! Norton is doing much better. The fiber bread worked, and he hasn't had any throat clearing or lip smacking all day. The only issue, obviously, is the load of pooping from all the fiber! But he is definitely out of the woods, and we so appreciate your help. Thanks again, Wendy and Norton
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Sorry to hear about the large volume of feces...that is an annoying but very tolerable side effect (compared to surgery, lol).

Have a good evening,

Dr. Amanda