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What is gastric lavage?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – My dog ate some Tylenol and my vet recommended a gastric lavage. What is this?

Ethyl B.


Hi – thanks for your email. Gastric lavage is another term for "pumping the stomach". It consists of a procedure where a tube is placed into the mouth, through the esophagus and into the stomach and the contents are pumped out. Generally water is pumped in and the stomach is "rinsed out" (lavaged).

This is often used for pets that have ingested toxins or toxic amounts of medications.

An article that might be helpful to you is Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Toxicity in Dogs

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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