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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30373
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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Dog ate dead starfish

Resolved Question:

My 2 year old cocker spaniel ate a dead starfish off the beach (merseyside) 24 hrs ago. He now has obvious stomach ache and is trying to make himself sick by eating grass. Is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable. He is eating and drinking normally.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am sorry for the delay in response. If you would like to continue can you please answer a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Any vomiting?
2- Is he straining to defecate?
3- How much does he weigh?
4- Is he eating and drinking?

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

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1 vomited twice, both times just grass and bile.
2. Not noticed. Did have one very loose stool yesterday pm but seems normal since then.
3 weight is 16kgs
4 eating and drinking normally.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.
Friend, the main concern with the ingestion of a starfish is the possibility of an obstruction and damage that it can inflict to the gastrointestinal tract. This is what you can do:

1- Start him on Zantac (ranitidine) 75mg 1/4 tablet every 12 hours. You can buy Zantac over the counter in any pharmacy (chemist). Do not give things like Pepto Bismol (bismuth).

2- Hold the food and water for a few hours to control the vomiting. Then, offer a diet of rice (75%) and boiled boneless chicken or ground beef (25%). The idea is for the rice to bind the starfish and help him pass it in the stool while protecting the intestinal tract.

3- If he continues to vomit or develops other symptoms like lethargy, anorexia, straining to defecate, etc. after doing the above, I would have him checked immediately by a veterinarian for xrays to rule out an obstruction.

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!


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