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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7575
Experience:  Veterinarian
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My dog ate a ham bone, was sick and pooped everywhere last

Customer Question

My dog ate a ham bone, was sick and pooped everywhere last night, and is now not eating and quite lethargic. How do I know if he is impacted?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if your dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Riley, 7 1/2 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Riley?
Customer: Happy, healthy, active dog normally!
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Hi there,

Thank you for your question regarding your boy Riley who managed to eat a ham bone last night! This sort of case does worry me since so often I see dogs such as Riley in my clinic who have accidentally (or otherwise) ingested toys, bones and other objects and more often than not, these need to be removed via surgery. Bones can easily cause a partial obstruction in the intestines or if he managed to chew it up well, it can even just cause bad constipation. It sounds like it is causing Riley a bit of diarrhea here as well as lethargy and inappetance now. You are certainly going to need to continue to keep a close eye on him, but the fact he is still vomiting and won't even drink water is a real concern. If Riley can't keep water down, then you really do need to get him seen by your local ER vet to follow up and get him rehydrated with an IV line before investigating the cause of his symptoms tonight.

For now, please keep a close eye on Riley's mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows:

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the vet.

Respiratory Rate - if he is continuously panting throughout the evening this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the vet.

There are a few things that could happen from here including a partial chronic obstruction, a full complete obstruction or even something like an intersucception where the bowel telescopes in on itself. If your boy doesn't defecated in the next day or two, it may be worth having your Vet take a couple of abdominal xrays (plain and contrast ones to help highlight a foreign body). If it seems as though there is something stuck in his gut, the next step will be an exploratory laparotomy (opening up his abdomen) to be able to get the foreign material out. You will need to get Riley seen for this tonight if he continues to vomit and/or if the diarrhea doesn't settle.

All the best with Riley, and as above, because an obstruction is a real possibility here (along with bad dehydration), you really should try to get him seen today if you can. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Hopefully those parameters were all ok. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr E

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
actually, he pooped a LOT last night and has just gotten increasingly lethargic. I will try and get some water in him.
He hasn't vomited since last night and never really had any diarrhea. I'm thinking to hydrate him and take him in the morning if he isn't better...
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Hi again - yes, that sounds like an excellent plan. See how he goes, but if he becomes any more lethargic tonight, then please do play it safe and get him seen tonight if you can.
Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

I will be online for another 10 minutes or so. Let me know if you need any further assistance?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Good advice. Took Riley to a vet shortly after this online conversation. IV fluids helped a lot. Vet. Cleaned his colon out after taking X-rays. Seemed like he was doing great. Gave him IV antibiotics as well. Got up every two hours to check JIm. At 1:30, hexwasvtired but seemed good. At 3:30, he was dying and passed maybe five minutes after I got up. I suspect there was something more going on...
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Oh I'm sorry to hear about Riley. You certainly did all you could for him by taking him in straight away. There would definitely have been another issue going on here for him to deteriorate so quickly.

Thoughts to you and your family.

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Pet Doc
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Well, he's dead.