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I believe swallowed a small watch battery (357) Blue/2 years…

Customer Question
I believe swallowed a...

I believe swallowed a small watch battery (357)

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 and age?

Blue/2 years old

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

No.. This was like an hour ago. He is still playing as usual. Like I said I believe he may have swallowed it although I did not see it happen

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 49 minutes by:
1/6/2018
Dog Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32,321
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

This can be a worrisome ingestion. Watch batteries are lithium discs which contain no corrosive compounds, but the esophagus becomes increasingly alkaline on the cathode side and acidic on the anode side as the current passes through the battery. This results in severe tissue damage. One 3-volt battery can cause significant esophageal necrosis with only 15 minutes of contact. Should this occur I would have expected signs of drooling, gagging, and considerable distress by now and so perhaps Blue didn't ingest the battery. The lithium disc batteries are usually excreted intact via the feces.

This is a situation where vomiting should NOT be induced. This could make the corrosive injuries worse. Additionally, depending on the battery size, vomiting may cause esophageal obstruction. Activated charcoal should not be used either. It will not bind the toxic components and may increase the chances of vomiting.

The main components of therapy are to dilute the caustic materials and remove the batteries from the gastrointestinal tract.

Dilution is achieved by rinsing the mouth and exposed skin copiously and by giving small amounts of lukewarm water by mouth every 10-15 minutes.

Once the battery has been located by radiographs, removal is via endoscopy or surgery. The sooner this is accomplished, the better the prognosis for preventing obstruction or absorption of heavy metals. Once the batteries are removed, GI protectants and antacids (famotidine, omeprazole, Sucralfate) are used to help heal the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, antibiotics and non-NSAID analgesics may be necessary.

Pets should be kept off of food (NPO) for 12-24 hours to allow for healing. For severe cases, a feeding tube may need to be placed to allow for full healing.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32,321
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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