Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Grocery Bag Is Not An Open Buffet: What Was In JD's Vomit

At about five in the morning I was woken up by hubby rushing JD to the yard. When I asked what was happening, I was told that JD was trying to throw up.

As a good dog mom, after JD came back in, I went into the yard to look for and examine the puke.

Me? I know nothing about that.

I was looking for chunks of wood, because that's what I'd typically find under circumstances such as these. There were none. There was nothing overly suspicious, other than what at first appeared to be undigested strips of chicken meat. At least that's what it kind of looked and felt like. When I tried to pull them apart, though, they wouldn't, which didn't make any sense. I bagged the puke and went back inside, reporting my strange findings.

"I think I know what it is," said hubby sheepishly.

"Huh? What do you think it is?" I asked.
"I think those are pieces of plastic," hubby replied.

That would explain why it was so strong that it couldn't be pulled apart. It would not explain when and where JD got the opportunity to munch on any. When I asked, hubby was reluctant to tell me. Eventually he came clean.

JD ate a package of beef kidney on the way from the store. 

Including the plastic it was wrapped in. At least he left the tray and the sheet they put at the bottom.

"Wait a minute, you brought home the organ meats two days ago," I turned to hubby.
"Yeah. I figured I'd rather not tell you not to worry you."

Well, that was potentially thoughtful, because I do worry about things a lot. Or hubby just didn't want the guys get in trouble with mom.

In this case it was a shame, because if I knew, this would be one of the times when making him throw up would have solved our trouble.

Later that morning JD ate his breakfast and overall seemed fine.

The whole gang left to spend another day at the horse farm. As I was left alone in the house, I got thinking and went to look for poop. I was so focused on the vomit earlier, it didn't occur to me but now it did. There was no morning poop in the yard.

That was slightly suspicious.

JD is quite a pooping machine and poops every morning. However, I decided not to panic just yet.

Unfortunately, when they are at the farm, it is quite hard to keep track of the dogs' elimination. Sometimes they do it during the morning walk, but sometimes they don't. Hubby didn't see JD poop during the day, which didn't really give much information to go on. I was hoping in the evening we'll see some poop.

But we didn't.

None in the evening and none before bed. Now I was getting nervous. Did some of the plastic make it through and caused a blockage? How much did he actually eat and how much came out the front end?

It was time to dissect the vomit.

I started pulling out the strips of plastic and washing them. It looked like hardly any. When I started straightening the little pieces out, though, it turned out being quite a bit. That was hopeful. How much plastic was on the package and how does it compare with what we got?

So we unwrapped a different kidney, laid the saran wrap out and started matching our pieces.

It was quite a bit but it seemed there was still enough missing.

How much does the saran wrap shrink exposed to stomach juices for two days?

The texture was harder and seemed thicker. But could we rule out a good amount of it missing conclusively? And why still no poop? Could it be he had diarrhea during the day and there is nothing left to come out? Or is there something stuck?

I decided to put JD on a fast, in case he did need some further diagnostics or intervention the next day.

Plastic can do some pretty nasty things.

Finally, in the morning, JD pooped and it was normal and healthy.

Next time, man, if you're gonna steal food, at least take it out of the package first!

Related articles:
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
What’s In the Vomit? 

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  1. So glad he's OK! My cat has eaten plastic like that out of the trash. It was the plastic off of a package of chicken breasts. Thankfully, he was OK as well.

    1. Thank you, Lindsay, we're very glad too! And hubby has instructions not to leave the dogs alone in the truck with groceries ever again.

  2. No story to share but thank you for sharing yours. I always learn something here.

  3. Just came across this blog and wanted to ask you what method do you use to induce vomiting in your dog? My small Maltese puppy ate food that was put out for another dog which contained that dog's meds for a thyroid condition. I noticed this almost immediately and after finding out there were meds in there I panicked first than it was suggested that I call the vet of the visiting dog who meds were eaten which I did. I was told to induce vomiting by shoveling in a table spoon of salt, which I did which immediately had the puppy throwing up the vomit contained the pills. My reason for asking about an alternative method is that I read somewhere that salt could be toxic N dogs

  4. Glad you got the pills out. Always be careful and, ideally, ask a vet or Pet Poison Helpline before inducing vomiting - there are MANY things with which inducing vomiting can do further harm.

    The official method to induce vomiting is this:
    The best way to get your dog to vomit is to give 1 tsp per 10 pounds of hydrogen peroxide. The maximum dose is 3 tbsp. You can do this twice about 10-15 minutes apart. If this isn't working head to your vets office or the closest emergency clinic.