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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22459
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My dog just ate a fairly large crab claw which was on a bit

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My dog just ate a fairly large crab claw which was on a bit of waste ground for days. Should I refrain from feeding him his 1st lot of food to see if he is sick or not?
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. How long ago did he eat this?
Did it have any sharp edges that you could see?Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hiya. He has only eaten it in the last 30 minutes. It was the shell and the meat so guessing it could have had some sharp bits but I could not get him to drop it.

Thank you, ***** ***** we have situations like this, we do need to tread with care. Since this is an item with a high risk of sharp edges, we cannot induce vomiting (since laceration to the throat is a risk we need to avoid). Therefore, since he is otherwise normal at the moment, we have 2 options. First, if it has only been 30 minutes, you can consider getting him to your local ER vet now. The reason is because this is likely still in the stomach and may be able to be removed with an endoscope (a scope with a camera). If they can, then this would bypass any possible GI risk or need for surgery. Otherwise, if that is not an option for any reason, then we need to start some close monitoring and encourage the claw to pass the other way. Now we don't need to starve him here. In fact, since we have possible sharp edges it would be better not to. Therefore, I would note that at this point you can consider feeding your lad a"Vaseline sandwich". This will sound odd but can be helpful as the bread will coat and get this moving through the GI. As well, the Vaseline will help it slide through and hopefully reduce the damage risk. To make this, just take a slice of whole wheat bread, slather with Vaseline (as if you were buttering it) and cover with a second slice. Feed it to him piece by piece to avoid a mess. Following this, you can put him on an easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be rice/pasta/boiled plain potato with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled egg, meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Whichever you choose, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep his stomach settled. Furthermore, you can add a spoon of canned pumpkin (a good fiber source) to again push the claw through the gut. As well, you can also offer cat hair ball medication or add a dose of a GI lubricant (ie lactulose, food grade mineral oil, or Miralax) over the next few days to encourage the claw to slip through the GI and keep moving along. Of course, do note that if you use the GI lubricants, we can a bit more loose feces while they are being used (so don't be alarmed). With these supports we will hopefully keep the claw from getting caught and get them out via his feces. While trying the above, we need to also monitor for any red flag signs of the claw causing a blockage or damage. Therefore, for the next 24-48 hours, we'd want to make sure that his gut stays comfortable (which you can check by pressing on the belly to see if he has any tensing, discomfort, or pain). Furthermore, we want to monitor for restlessness, lethargy, vomiting with blood or coffee ground type material, inability to keep any food or water down, continued anorexia despite our treatment, pale gums, straining to pass feces or passage of black feces (digested blood). If we see any of these signs, then we'd have to assume its stuck and would want to have his vet feel his stomach +/- xray to make sure there is no risk of any form of obstruction. Overall, when dogs eat these kinds of non-edible items, we do have obstruction and GI damage concerns. And this is a worry with your lad. Therefore, do consider having him to the vet for scoping now or otherwise we need to consider the above supportive care at this stage while keeping a close eye on him. And if he doesn't settle or you see those worrying signs, then we'd absolutely need a check with his vet as an xray and possible surgical retrieval would be indicated. I hope this information is helpful.If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!All the best,Dr. B.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you so much. Think I will try the vaseline sandwich and monitor him for next couple hours. Any changes then will take him to vet.

You are very welcome, All the best for Riley and hopefully his mischief won't cause him any serious troubles.Take care,Dr. B.
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