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Discussion Starter #1
On Tuesday Gilligan "ate" one of those foam paint brushes. It's the black foam variety with a wood handle. A small one - about 2 inches.

We think all he did was tear the foam to shreds, but I did find him nibbling on the wood handle and he did have some small pieces in his mouth.

On Wed afternoon, he threw up. He was fine on Thursday. Last night he ate his dinner at nearly 10pm and at 3am he threw it all up.

He has been peeing and pooping normally and I didn't see any remnants of the brush in his poop.

BUT - it has gotten very hot in NJ very quickly. We took him out for walks and he came in very hot and laid down on the tiles to cool himself.

He also was a bit stressed out on Wed. We took him to the vets office to pick up probiotic and he went nuts in there whining and trying to leave. He has hated it there ever since we left him to be neutered.

Yesterday we had some work done to the house and he went into full territorial mode and barked for a while, though we did managed to distract him for a bit.

So, should I be worried about an obstruction, or do you think the heat and stress took its toll?

He has not eaten anything at all this morning, though that is normal. He sometimes eats around 1 or 2pm, or at night only. He did pee & poop this morning.
 

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it's better yo be safe than sorry, I would take him to the vet have him checked out
 

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Oh yes, definitely take him to the vet. I agree. With something like that you just never know.

I don't walk my dogs if it's over 70-75 degrees. They just can't cool themselves as well as we do. It's hard on them. Maybe a little romping in the back yard or a very short mini walk. Be careful in that heat.

I hope everything will be okay...sending positive vibes. Keep us posted.
 

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I see a couple of things to reply to. First I don't walk or even let much running in the yard happen in this weather. Every dog is currently sacked out on a cool surface. Next if you think a dog has swallowed something that is safe to vomit back up and you catch in the act or soon after give hydrogen peroxide as an emetic, but do it outside since it works really fast. Last do some counter conditioning training at the vet's office. Go for no reason or as you did to pick something up but no exam room. Bring a bunch of treats and spend some time in the waiting area doing basics like sit and down and reward really lavishly for responding and being calm. If the workers mind you doing that then you might consider a different vet. I always train in the waiting room and work to arrive early enough that I have time to do so.
 

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Lily's advice is good...I forgot to address that part of your post where your pup is freaking out at the vet's. You can turn this around as she described.

I always took my puppies to a few different vet's offices for just a 5 minute visit with the receptionists and they'd take their weight maybe for me and give treats and love. Then we'd leave. I did this about 1-2 times a week for their early socialization. You can still do that. I'd start with another vet's office...just a quick, friendly visit. Give treats regardless of your pup's behavior...just to associate the place with an okay time. It's doubtful he's thinking about or is aware of his behavior when he's stressed out. So it doesn't matter about his behavior imo. Just make the bad thing into a good thing. Soon it can become a really good place to go. (extra special treats and attention)
 

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This reminds me of when Maizie ate the sponge! She grabbed a sponge out of one of my nursery school children's hands because it had milk on it that she wanted. She had an x-ray and ultrasound. Neither showed the sponge. But I knew she swallowed it and that it hadn't passed through her. The vets didn't seem to believe me. Well, sure enough, about 5 days later, she pooped the sponge.

So, if you have these diagnostic tests, they may not show the item. They tend to only show metal objects. But I agree with everyone to go to your vet no matter what!!

And finally, everyone's already said it, but I never ever take my dogs out when it's hot. None of us can handle it. I only exercise them in the early morning hours or late evening, and only short walks if it's up to 75* or so (never over that).

Wishing you and Gilligan luck! Please keep us posted.

ETA: I personally do not induce vomiting with peroxide. That is controversial and my vets don't agree with it.
 

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Years ago Jasper had an obstruction from eating a piece of a blanket. He couldn't hold any food down and just kept vomiting. They were able to do a scan and see there was something there. Bringing him into the vet would be the best idea. Could just be related to the heat, though. Hoping all is well with your little guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update...

I took him to the vet and she said he did not appear to be in any distress. She gave him some fluids and an anti-nausea shot. He ate about half his food last night and kept it down.

At 1pm today, he ate half his daily food ration, though I had to convince him to do so. He was looking hungry so I played with him a bit to get him to eat.

He's been droopy most of the day, but I can attribute that to my husband leaving early today and has still not returned.

As for counter-conditioning - that's what we've been trying to do. Each trip to the vet includes treats. While we were waiting yesterday he had a lot of them and was relatively calm - until the vet took him away to give the fluids. We'll just have to go there more often.

I do suspect it's the heat. I took him to my dad's house, where it's warmer inside than our house, and he was just laying around versus his usual play and or beg for some treats dad always gives him.

I have not found any pieces of the brush in his poop, but he tore it into little pieces so I could have missed it.

He's peeing and pooping normally, and has been throughout all of this, so I suspect it was either the stress, the heat, or both.

Thank you for all the advice and help. I really appreciate it.
 

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I am glad the worst seems to be over. Thank you for the update..
 
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He ate his dinner... though at 9pm.

After dinner we give him "dessert." It's about a half teaspoon of yogurt and 2 frozen cherries. He runs into the kitchen when we ask if he wanted dessert :) It's his reward for eating and he doesn't get it if he doesn't eat.

Anyway, it has cooled off a bit outside and he seems to be acting normally. I really do think it was the heat combined with stress.

Thank you for all your advice and good thoughts!
 

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I'm so glad your boy is doing better.

I have a suggestion for your vet's office. Talk to the staff first to make certain they're okay with it. You might have to start off as small as walk in, walk back out. Get him calm outside, move closer to the door. You stay closer to the door as long as he can handle it but you move away from the door before he stresses out. Keep doing that: move closer, stay longer until you can touch the door without a stress response. You may have to do this until his response is "yeah, yeah... we're here... I get it... NOTHING happening." The longest I've ever had to do this was 3-4 hours. It is time consuming however the dog guides us through what he can handle & what he needs to get over the problem. (The tip to getting a very happy vet clinic with happy staff who LOVE it when you train there... bring them treats :) Yes, I am shameless. I know how to bake & I'm not afraid to use it LOL).

I also have a suggestion for your dog during the extreme heat. Get yourself some electrolytes formulated for dogs. Some dogs you can just put it in the water bowl & they'll drink it. Others you'll need to mix it up & syringe it in using a syringe with no needle. I use a product called DynaSpark from Dynamite Marketing that's formulated for race horses. So it takes very little for the dogs but it doesn't have sugar in it. I started using it for a Doberman I had who was gravely ill. Works wonders. I have friends who buy electrolyte supplements made for dogs & have had great results. Just a little bit of it during the hideous heat days will help them get the most from their water & it helps them recover from the stress of the extreme heat.
 

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Thanks much.

I never thought of counter conditioning starting in the parking lot. He now starts whining in the parking lot. I'll give it a shot.

I'll also get some electrolytes, since the vet did give him fluids. But I think I'll just keep him indoors. He has a "bathroom" in the garage with a pad and he uses it interchangably with going outside. Thankfully. :)
 

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Yep...that fear of the vet's office and then the anticipation starting in the parking lot can even move back further in the process of going to the vet and turn into a big problem just getting in the car. It's called back chaining. So, if he's getting worked up in the parking lot, it would be good to do like Dogsavvy says...practice when you don't have to go to the vet, few minute session but often. And only go so far into the parking lot as he starts anticipating and just before that place that he starts noticing (that you'll discover) reinforce and move back. In fact, you can just give treats regardless of his behavior...just to show him how cool it is to drive into the parking lot and how you go away asap which he'll appreciate. (going away IS the reward too) And soon he'll want to go into the parking lot just to be able to get the treat. (a stupendous treat of course) And get to go away to boot. That's a little extra serotonin for him. That going away will gradually change to not being the reward. Going in will be rewarding.

And just build on that duration that you stay there and how far you go into the parking lot...work on those separately. When you're working on one, relax the other criteria. Get one going pretty well and then do the other and relax the one you were working on before. Break things down into baby steps whenever and wherever you can in all things.

If he'll tolerate it, go into the vet's office for a quick 1 minute cookie and pat and leave. Wait till he's not too terrified or nervous though. But you don't want to wait too long. Sometimes dogs get stuck in one thing that you're working on...like the parking lot and have trouble moving ahead. So, while you want to take things gradually, try to move along to the next phase without staying in one single thing or phase too long. Good luck.
 
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I had a very tiny little dog who broke her leg. She had a deficiency & her bones were a mess. We didn't know it until she broke the leg as she did. I was sitting 18 inches off the ground where she jumped from my lap & snapped her leg. Anyway, she was always aloof with strangers but didn't hate people until she was at the vet clinic & people she didn't want touching her were doing stuff against her will. She began bullying these humans by growling, snarling, & basically teaching these humans that she was a Cujo monster. They thought her adorable but feared her. It would sound reasonable except she weight a whole 3 1/2 pounds. Honestly... The vet was mortified. He knew we would not tolerate that behavior & also knew his staff was making matters worse. So we had some work ahead of us. Back chaining for her started at our house. When we would go to pick her up & take her to the car. Imagine one of the cutest faces in the world turning into what I call an ugly face (all teeth, wrinkled nose, sharp squinty eyes, 100% bad attitude)

So first, I had to condition her that picking her up & going to the car might mean a car ride, then again it might mean we just sit & listen to the radio while she lay on her back, getting her belly rubbed (this was her biggest weakness), sometimes she would just get in the car with not fuss & I'd give her a treat then we'd go do something else.

Once we could get in the car without ugliness (she was never aggressive or snappy to us... just mad at the world!). Then I would take her with me up the 1/2 mile driveway to get the mail, or to drive down the road a mile or two to the creek, let her get out & sniff around. Once we passed that hurdle, we'd take her to town. Visit Sonic, McDonalds, a couple little family owned restaurants. I would call ahead & scheme with the staff how to handle this. The benefits of living in a small town where everyone knew I was a dog trainer. I had a lot of awesome helpers.

The vet clinic was a little harder because she'd done her worst & had those people trained. She did however have one lady who carried her around all over the clinic & she purely loved this lady, & more importantly she respected her. Yay, us! So in order for her to get her reward (Lisa's attention) she had to tolerate & humor the staff & the vets. The vets (two men who have known me all my life) didn't take any guff off her so she'd give them dirty looks.

Basically the dog tells us how far we need to go back. Break it down into little steps. Honestly, in the beginning, Thumper could be set into the car seat, then removed before she showed her ugly face. I had to time rewarding her (removing her from the car) before she remembered she hated car rides because they mean the vet. It would have gone faster if I'd known she'd fallen in love with Lisa however I'm glad I didn't because we could fix the problem all the way back to where she began the attitude (picking her up to put her in the car). The good news was, in that time... my car was really clean as I'd take her with me & she'd sit in the passenger seat & I'd clean the interior of the car :)

The key to success is baby steps... patience... & knowing you WILL succeed but sometimes those baby steps are the baby steps of a baby ant instead of a baby elephant...
 

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Thanks much.

I never thought of counter conditioning starting in the parking lot. He now starts whining in the parking lot. I'll give it a shot.

I'll also get some electrolytes, since the vet did give him fluids. But I think I'll just keep him indoors. He has a "bathroom" in the garage with a pad and he uses it interchangably with going outside. Thankfully. :)
Forgot this in my earlier post. My vet told me years ago, he wished everyone used a little electrolytes. Of course for dogs who are not going out & doing a lot of activity, you'd use a lot less but in dogs that seem like they melt like ice cream... they do help. My race horse stuff that I used for years was amazing. 3 drops on their food & I never had to worry about dehydration. For my working dogs, I carried a water bottle with the electrolytes mixed in & 1 without. I even used the stuff in my own water. When I was a kid I had 2 really really close calls with heat stroke & my temperature gauge doesn't work well in extreme heat. Found out it worked for me too (Gatorade doesn't do so good for me).
 
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