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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, she did fine after my last two rounds of panic (involving whether she'd get sick from eating too much bone marrow, and a bee sting incident).

Now...

My neighbors. Oh, my neighbors. They seem to think feeding wildlife with their random leftovers is just lovely. They're sweet, elderly people, but really, really "out there." Seriously, on another planet.

We're constantly cleaning up all sorts of food that squirrels, birds, and such animals drag into the yard. Once I had to take a rib bone from Ellie. It still had bits of meat on it. Yuck.

About 2-3 weeks ago, I found half a dried up corncob on my deck. It looked like it had been cut/broken in half, instead of partially eaten. It was very dry and soft-woody in texture. Ellie is not one to eat wood (if she chews a stick, she spits it out, and these days she never even tries to chew wood), so I didn't think she ate it. Still, I was worried. Called the vet, and they said to watch for symptoms. Again, I really, truly didn't think she ate it.

Fast-forward to a few days ago, and I found a couple of gray looking poop piles while cleaning up the yard. Turns out it was gray because that was the color of all the bits of corn cob in them! Ugh, so she did eat them. I called the vet, and they said it's good that it's moving through, but to keep an eye on her. The next day, more corn cob bits in her poop. Less, though. Since then, I've been worried. Yeah, the pieces were very small, obviously well chewed. Yeah, she pooped a bunch out. But I have no idea if there is more in her that hasn't come out.

About three nights ago, she threw up during the night. There was a little bit of bunched up leaf or grass in there, so I assumed that was the reason. She's not prone to vomiting. Once in a blue moon, but we're talking maybe twice over the past many months. Once because she ate too big a piece of nylabone.

Last night, she had a little bit of loose stool that she had to strain (not badly) to get out. Now that's very unusual for her. She has a strong stomach. This morning and early afternoon, she had two normal bowel movements. The end of one was a tad soft, but most of it was totally normal.

Still, I've been worried. So I called the vet. This time, I spoke with a different vet tech. She wants me to bring Ellie in first thing in the morning to have her checked out. I have no idea what they'll want to do. I can't be sure the one night of vomit and last night's loose stomach had anything to do with the corn cob. But it might. I suspect they'll want to do x-rays, but I also realize those might not show corn cob. A barium? Sheesh, she's eating and pooping fine, so even that might slide on through and not show anything. I can't imagine doing exploratory surgery when really there doesn't seem anything wrong with her.. I mean, if some cob is in there it's a problem that likely requires surgery, but surgery is risky, too.

And she's TERRIFIED at the vet. My sweet little girl becomes a cowering, quivering mess, belly to the floor.

Ugh.

Any thoughts? Advice? Things I should ask?

I can't believe I have to put her through this. And possibly surgery! How dangerous is surgery for something like this? Again, she has no signs of a blockage, other than one puke and one soft (not watery) bowel movement. She is a hyper, energetic, hungry, goofball dog. We got her nearly a year ago, and I hate to think of her anniversary day with us being spent in surgery recovery.

I want to cry. :(
 

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The obvious fear with corncobs is a blockage. They can be dangerous. If she's pooping a normal volume, regardless of what bits of what are in the poop and regardless of whether it's hard or soft, I'd guess she doesn't have a blockage...especially if she remains energetic, hungry, and hyper.
Of course go to the vet. Don't take the advice of someone you don't know who had an opinion in a discussion group, and who hasn't seen your dog. But don't worry yourself sick. There's a good chance it will turn out to be nothing. . . .and it may be that your vet can do the diagnosis just a history and a feel of her stomach muscles . . . no expensive tests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your input and advice. I truly do appreciate it. I'm certainly taking her to the vet, in fact first thing in the morning. There's no question about that. I'm just trying to figure out how this is all going to work out (and feeling bad about how scared my little girl is going to be). And, although I'm jumping the gun here, if she does need surgery, how dangerous is it and how hard a recovery would it be? That's assuming any surgery would be uncomplicated (i.e., there's no existing damage from the corn cob). I'm not looking forward to costs, but thankfully I do have insurance. Regardless, I'd spend any amount of money to make sure Ellie Belly is OK. We love her so, and she's only a year old.

There's this obnoxious little voice in my head, and it just won't go away. It sounds something like: "What kind of test they could they do to find some fibrous bits of material that might or might not be in her? Sure, X-rays would likely show artificial foreign bodies or a full blockage. But how can it show small bits of cob when everything is passing right by it? At the same time, if X-rays show nothing, is it possible the cob just isn't showing up and might still eventually cause a blockage down the road? Exploratory surgery seems over the top when there's no evidence of a problem and when she might have passed all the cob. On the other hand, it's not over the top if there's some nasty stuff hanging out in there, just waiting to cause a problem. What a fiasco!"

Darned voice. It's going to be a long night.
 

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We just went through a similar issue with Toby a few days ago.
I make collars, and Toby ate the buckle on his. I thought it was metal, apparently not, so we watched him over the course of 3ish days... on the 16th he began acting lethargic, wasn't finishing meals, and my worst fear was that the little bits of the buckle were acting like shrapnel and cutting my dog up from the inside out. I scheduled a vet visit that afternoon.

We went in, had the xrays done, and came out knowing that the only thing wrong with my dog was a tummy ache because he was really gassy.... oh and that he'd need to poop soon because the xray showed some in his bowels haha.

All was well for my Toby - but you can never be too cautious.
I'd be willing to be, your vet will likely just do an xray to see what's going on in there, and if anything looks 'off' they'll go from there.

IF a surgery is needed, the danger and recovery time will differ depending on where the foreign object is located, so really nobody can give you an answer unless they detail step-by-step every single part of the abdomen and intestines.. lol. Also some dogs will fair better than others with both surgery and recovery time.


(This thread is where I shared Tobys xray results if you want to look at how detailed they are: http://www.dogforums.com/dog-health-questions/310553-tobys-getting-biopsy.html )
 

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you're thinking the worst. i have a feeling she's going to be fine. hang in there. it's nice to see
you're taking good care of your dog.
 

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It's hard to get those worry gremlins to shut up.
I had a friend whose dog was showing clear blockage signs . . . no poop, tense stomach, low energy, I think some vomiting as well. They concluded he had eaten one of those things they put into packaged meat to soak up the juices, and that it would not show up on Xray. The test used was to keep the dog in the vets overnight and Xray every hour to follow the passage of material through the digestive tract. They never figured out what it was. The dog was fine with no treatment. But it was a major worry, and very expensive. My friend didn't have insurance.
In your case, your dog isn't showing signs of blockage, so I doubt there is one. I hope the vet tells you the same thing. Good luck. Let us know how you go.
 

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I assume you went to the Vet. Next time something like this happens, ask the Vet to call you back. Vets have much more training than the Vet tech, and the Vet may be able to alleviate your fears more effectively.
 

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My elderly dog got into some corncobs and ate them. I called the vet, and the vet had me induce vomiting with a shot glass worth of hydrogen peroxide, warning me that doing so was a choke risk so we had to weigh the danger of choking against the danger of blockage. Did it twice, and the dog yacked up all of the corn cob, no further problems. Sounds like you caught it too late for inducing vomiting to be effective, though. Good luck with your pup. Hope she is fine and just having a bit of digestive upset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm so sorry I forgot to update! Very inconsiderate of me, truly. The vet seems to think she's in the clear. She thoroughly palpated her abdomen. Asked lots of questions about things like the date she ate it. The consistency of the cob and amount left. How many stools in which I saw the cob. Her eating and energy level. Poop habits.

The vet's feeling is that she likely thoroughly chewed the dried up cob and probably passed most or all of what she ate. She said there were no "lumps" in her gut. She highly doubts that any tiny pieces of cob that might be left, if any, would somehow all re-lump together and cause a problem.

It's no guarantee, but I'm very reassured!

Thanks to everyone for your support! I can't tell you how much it meant to me!

Hanksimon, yes, I think for something this scary, I agree. I absolutely love the vet techs there, but I should have spoken directly to the vet with a concern like this.
 

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I am so glad that all is well with your dog. she sure likes to cause you to worry. I would talk to the elderly neighbors and let them know of the potential risks those cobs pose to your dog. Sad to say retrievals of the cobs in dogs is not that uncommon. One thing to note is that the cob smells really bad after it has been in your dog. Often vet techs talk to the vet about what to do and than the vet tech calls you back after talking to the vet. I am glad all has ended well for your dog for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh, yes, plenty of worry! Funny thing is, she's not normally a dog to eat stuff she shouldn't. She's not a counter surfer and tends to leave household objects alone. She sure picked a doozy, here. My husband went to speak with the neighbors. He spoke with the wife, because it turns out her husband passed away less than two months ago. We didn't even know! They're the street behind us (backyard neighbors), and we really didn't see him outside the house much. She said she likes to feed the squirrels, because she likes the company. Oh boy, do I feel terrible. :( She said she'd stick to shelled nuts and birdseed for now. My husband thanked her profusely. Now I'm thinking I should pay her a visit, if she's so lonely. Thankfully she does have family in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Maybe you and Ellie could both go for a walk around the block for a visit... Lonely people like dogs.
I would bring Ellie, but she has a lot of cats hanging around. I'm not sure Ellie would be a perfect little lady around cats.
 

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Thank you for your input and advice. I truly do appreciate it. I'm certainly taking her to the vet, in fact first thing in the morning. There's no question about that. I'm just trying to figure out how this is all going to work out (and feeling bad about how scared my little girl is going to be). And, although I'm jumping the gun here, if she does need surgery, how dangerous is it and how hard a recovery would it be? That's assuming any surgery would be uncomplicated (i.e., there's no existing damage from the corn cob). I'm not looking forward to costs, but thankfully I do have insurance. Regardless, I'd spend any amount of money to make sure Ellie Belly is OK. We love her so, and she's only a year old.

There's this obnoxious little voice in my head, and it just won't go away. It sounds something like: "What kind of test they could they do to find some fibrous bits of material that might or might not be in her? Sure, X-rays would likely show artificial foreign bodies or a full blockage. But how can it show small bits of cob when everything is passing right by it? At the same time, if X-rays show nothing, is it possible the cob just isn't showing up and might still eventually cause a blockage down the road? Exploratory surgery seems over the top when there's no evidence of a problem and when she might have passed all the cob. On the other hand, it's not over the top if there's some nasty stuff hanging out in there, just waiting to cause a problem. What a fiasco!"

Darned voice. It's going to be a long night.
Did your dog turn out to be okay? My dog just ate half a cob and I’m panicking now
 

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This thread is 7 years old, so most people aren't around anymore. I suggest that you call your Vet, and try to get the Vet on the phone for advice. Based on the conversation, the vet may ask you to come in.
 

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Yes, I'm afraid the original poster hasn't been active here in some time. Definitely contact your vet ASAP, and they should be able to help you determine the best next step. If you need any more help or support, please do start a new thread of your own so our currently active members are better able to find your question and offer their advice or experience!
 
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