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My dog ate a dime – will he be okay?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Jon – my one-year-old Chihuahua swallowed a dime. Now he seems to have a fever. Is it possible that he got any sort of poison from the dime?

Houston Cradeur


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your 1-year-old Chihuahua ate a dime and now seems to have a fever. Why do you think he has a fever? Did you take his temperature (that is the only accurate way to determine if a dog has a fever)?

The thing I worry about is that the dime could become a foreign body. A foreign body is an object that can't pass through the gastrointestinal tract. It can be dangerous as it could require surgery. If your dog was a large breed dog, he would probably pass the dime without a problem. Being that your dog is tiny, the dime could be a problem. It may pass though his system fine but it may not.

If the ingestion was recent, call your vet or local emergency clinic to determine if they want you to induce vomiting to get it out of his stomach. If the ingestion was not recently (within past few hours) – watch him for signs of obstruction such as not eating, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lethargy. If you notice any signs – take him to your vet. They can x-ray him to determine if and where the dime is.

You may want to check his stools to see if/when he passes it.

As far as the fever – it could be associated with the dime if your dog is having problems passing the dime and is actively obstructed. In that case, you should see some of the symptoms that I just mentioned.

If possible – take your dogs temperature also to determine if he really has a fever.

Call and see your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Gastrointestinal Foreign Body in Dogs and Fever in Dogs.

Best of luck!


Dr. Jon




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