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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30353
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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my dog swallowed a toothpick - should I be concerned?

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my dog swallowed a toothpick - should I be concerned?
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has it been since he ate the toothpick?
2- How much does he weigh?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He ate it about a half hour ago and weighs about 55 lbs.

Elaine, the concern with a toothpick is that they can get stuck/sequestered in the intestinal tract causing significant inflammation, perforation and even death. This is what you can do:

1- Do not give things like pepto bismol.
2- Do not induce vomiting, the pick can damage the esophagus on the way out making matters worst.
3- Change his diet for the next 2-3 days to rice (75%) and boiled boneless chicken or ground beef (25%). The idea is for the rice to bind the toothpick and help move it out in the feces while protecting the intestinal tract. It is important that you check the stool during the next 2-3 days for the toothpick. If you do not see the toothpick in 2-3 days follow up with family veterinarian for xrays with barium.
4- If during the next 2-3 days you see the following symptoms: lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, constipated or diarrhea, etc. follow up immediately with a veterinarian. These are all signs of potential obstruction or perforation of the intestinal tract. In the meantime, observe and change diet as above then wean back into regular diet.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Elaine,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Copper. How is everything going?

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr. Peter,


I fed him boiled chicken and rice that night and the next morning. He was acting fine and came hope at noon from work and found a large pile of vomit. The whole toothpick was in it and you were right - the rice bound to it and coated the toothpick which was great. Thanks so much for your help and I am happy to say things worked out fine.

Good Morning Elaine, that is really great news. Thank you for the update.

Dr. Peter