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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16873
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 18 pound shiatsu chewd up and swallow a hame bone about 3

Customer Question

My 18 pound shiatsu chewd up and swallow a hame bone about 3 inches long,now he seems like he is sick
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response, but your requested expert isn't online which delayed your question coming up on the list for all to answer. I would like to help if you are still interested in an opinion. I am very sorry to hear about Buddy eating a ham bone and now behaving like he is feeling poorly.

How long ago did this occur?
Ham is quite rich and a dietary switch to a rich food like that alone can lead to gastrointestinal upset and sometimes pancreatitis.

However if he ingested some bone pieces as well then the concern would be a gastrointestinal blockage or even ulceration or a puncture of his gastrointestinal tract.

If his abdomen is soft and comfortable with gentle palpation, he isn't running a fever and is still passing stools then there are some things that we can try to do at home for him.

While I understand that getting that bone out would be nice even if he ate it within the past hour or so I do not recommend inducing vomiting in cases where dogs eat sharp objects like bones. The chances of tearing his esophagus or stomach as it contracts to force the bone out is much too high. I hope he at least chewed a little before he swallowed as that will make passage a little easier.

In this case we need to try and hope that we can get this bone to pass through his gastrointestinal tract. And that his stomach acid helps us by dissolving the fragments.

To try and settle his stomach today you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help soothe his stomach after eating a high fat food. They can be used for several days to prevent stomach upset as they are quite safe.

I would not feed him any food for 2-3 hours after the acid reducers are started.
This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility. You can offer small amounts of water or ice cubes to lick a couple hours after the acid reducers to keep him hydrated. Don't let him drink too much at one time or he may vomit.

For the next few days, until the bones pass, he'll need to be fed a bland diet with lots of fiber added in small meals several times a day, 4 to 6 meals is ideal. We do this so the bone pieces are surrounded, the gut isn't irritated any more by contracting on just bone and to counteract the high fat food that he ate.

A homemade bland diet is 1/3 boiled hamburger or boiled, white, skinless chicken, all fats and juices drained off the meat, and 2/3 boiled, plain, white rice. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin, (not pie filling, just pumpkin), to each meal for fiber.

You'll need to check stools frequently for bone pieces in the next few days.

Signs that things aren't going well, and he needs an immediate veterinary visit, are vomiting even with the acid reducers, a tense painful belly, lack of an appetite, a fever (more than 103.5F rectally) and lethargy.

If you aren't seeing bone fragments in the next day or two a veterinary visit and an abdominal radiograph to see where the bones are is an option if you feel he's not coming along as he should. If it doubt at all that things aren't going well it is always best to have him checked.

Once the pieces are passed and if he's feeling well in 5 to 7 days then start mixing in his regular food, adding a little more regular and less bland at each meal. It should take a week to get him converted back to regular food.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not and you found my information helpful please remember to rate my response positively so I may receive credit for my work thank you, ***** *****