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Old July 2nd, 2011, 10:12 AM
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stormy_daze stormy_daze is offline
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Exclamation 7 year old shih-tzu swallowed a rubber finger tip.

Hi folks!

Any help would be appreciated.

My naughty little shih-tzu secretly swallowed one of these http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/46...ingertips.html. I had no idea until he passed it this morning. He had been vomiting all day on Tuesday; I took him to the vet but they didn't see anything wrong so they just gave him an anti-vomiting medication.

After that he seems to have returned to normal, and only now has passed the fingertip. I have two primary concerns still on this, tho:

1 - the fingertip grew in size about 5 or 6 times it's normal size. I have no idea how or why this happened, but it was definitely a significantly large piece. My concern is that he might have ingested some toxins from it.

2 - He's been very itchy all week. I don't know when he swallowed the tip, but all week he's been pretty itchy. I have no idea if this is toxins from the fingertip or just seasonal allergies, which he gets. His seasonal allergies make him very itchy, he has to take diphenhydramine 3 times a day to control it.

Aside from itching occasionally, he seems okay. He's alert, he's walking, he's talking, he's eating, he's drinking, and he's playing. But I have no idea how toxic things work because he's never been stupid enough to swallow something before.

It's after hours on a weekend here for vets, so for me to take him in will probably be around 80 minimum (around $130 USD/$124 CA) to have him looked at without any additional tests. I'm an unemployed graduate student and really don't have the money to take him in if it's not necessary. What's worse, is the vet my vet uses as an emergency contact has overcharged me significantly before and he was still quite ill after seeing them for an eye infection. So it's a very expensive trip to have them say nothing is wrong, and I don't really trust them. But, if he is having some sort of toxic shock I don't want to not take him in for something as silly as money. If he is ill, I always find the money to take him to the vet, but as I say I don't want to take him in if nothing is wrong, especially as the emergency vet is not very reliable. But I don't want to risk his life, either!

Anyone have any suggestions on what else I can check to see if it's worth it to take him in? I'd be grateful for any advice, he's my world and I can't lose him! Thank you!!
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 10:55 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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If it's just the itching, it can probably wait till Monday given that he's been itchy for about a week. At this point, there's probably nothing they could do for a toxin ingested that long ago (if it turned out that's what the itching was from). So likely all they'd do is supportive therapy for the itching. Of course if things change and he starts developing alarming symptoms like more vomiting, diarrhea, hives, lethargy or goes off his food, an emergency vet visit would be called for. But if he's behaving normally otherwise and seasonal allergies aren't uncommon for him, imo it doesn't sound like an emergency.

If you give him allergy meds (Benadryl, for instance) does it help with the itching?

Not sure why the fingertip would have swelled so, but likely it just reacted to the chemicals in the digestive tract and became porous enough to take on moisture. Good thing he passed it, though! There's always the possibility that there's another stuck in the stomach (we had a dog throw up a piece of dog toy about month after he ingested it ) or passing through the intestine, so watch for signs of tummy irritation (vomiting, esp if it's bloody) and intestinal irritation (diarrhea, esp if it's bloody red or tarry black), or blockage (lack of stool, hunched over in discomfort, no appetite, lethargy, sometimes dry heaving). Any of these symptoms would mean an emergency trip to a vet.

the little devil only ate the one fingertip and will be right as rain now!
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 11:31 AM
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stormy_daze stormy_daze is offline
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hazelrunpack - Thanks for the prompt reply

I think that was actually the only one in the house. He's never swallowed anything he wasn't supposed to, naughty boy. I suppose he could have got into something else, I have no idea how he even got that one.

Anyway, you're making a lot of sense and I think you're probably right about all of it. As to whether the benadryl is helping, I'm convinced not. He seems just as miserable before it as without it.

We had gone to the vet for the vomiting but they didn't spot any blockage and they said his stomach felt okay, so either it was an oversight on their part or it wasn't creating a visible block. he's seemed much better since, but today he was quite insistant on going out, usually he's not, so i took him out and found it when I went to pick i up.

But I think you're right, I think if he seems to take a worse turn I'll take him in otherwise I'll just call on Monday to see if they want to do any tests or anything. I appreciate all your help! Thank you!
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