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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, Happy Valentine's Day.
I need some opinions/advice. Lately when I walk Breezy on the beach she has been eating clam shells. As hard as I try to keep her from doing this, she still manages to munch on these stupid shells as if they were potato chips. I usually have to put her back on her leash and walk her that way because I worry the shells will hurt her and/or make her sick. Well, yesterday she ate a few shells ( she doesn't swallow them whole, but crunches them ). She seemed fine all night last night. This morning, however, we were out for our morning walk and usually she poops first thing. No poop. Kept walking for a while, still no poop. Next thing I know she's retching and then vomiting yellow bile. She did this 4 times and in one of the bile piles was a small piece of clam shell. I withheld her breakfast when we got back to the house and she has just been laying in her chair all morning. I let her outside to see if she would poop but she only peed. I'm worried about her. I'm hoping there isn't a really big piece of clam shell that she needs to get out but can't. Should I call the Vet or wait a little and just keep a close eye on her? I hate to bother the Vet on the weekend, let alone it's Valentine's Day, but I'm not sure what to do about my girl and I don't want to wait too long if she should be seen now instead of later. What would you guys do?
Thanks!
~Catherine
 

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We have an emergency vet clinic where I live - if this were my dog, I'd call them and ask them what I should do. They will likely tell you that you "can" take your dog in, but they should be able to tell you whether they think you "should".

I think you have reason to be concerned - those things, even crunched up, are sharp and if she doesn't vomit them all up, could cause damage. I wouldn't advise the wait and see approach.
 

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Well I ended up taking Breezy to the emergency Vet yesterday. She did finally poop ( of course right before we went to the Vet ) but I decided to take her anyway. They took some xrays and confirmed several pieces of clam shells, but by then they were in her colon. The Vet said to feed her a small amount of plain chicken and rice for the next couple of days, so that's what we'll do. So far she seems back to her goofy self and for that I am really relieved! No more vomiting and her poops appear normal. I suppose I could have taken the "Wait and See" approach and saved $300, but I was nervous that if there WAS an obstruction and didn't get her to the Vet it could have been a lot worse. Thank you for your responses!
 

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and one might consider fitting Breezy with a "basket muzzle" (the type that allows the dog to open their mouth to pant) for her unleashed runs on the beach... http://www.dogmuzzle.com/dog-muzzles.html or something similar - just be sure that it allows a dog to pant.
 

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Glad she is o.k. I had to use one of those muzzles for Ernie after he was diagnosed with IBD. After Ernies surgery to remove the corn cob they told me if he ever gets into anything again call them immediatly and they can make him sick. Not sure if this is correct, but intend doing it next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all your thoughts and concern, everyone! I have been trying to figure out what to do about Breezy when we are on the beach. I hate not being able to ever let her off-leash. I know how much she enjoys the freedom to be able to run and explore and it makes me happy to watch her when she does. However...............She just won't stop eating things she shouldn't! The "Leave it" command works only some of the time. That is not good enough, I know. A couple of dog people I know also recommended a muzzle for off-leash time. I am torn about this. I know that it would certainly help with the wanting to eat everything that smells as stinky as it looks, but I also wonder how it would affect Breezy's psyche. Or am I analyzing it too much. I guess I could always give it a try and see. Thanks again for all your responses!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Patty, thank you for that advice. I have checked all but one of her stools ( while out walking I forgot NOT to throw out the poop bag and realized it too late ). There were a few pieces of shells in one of the stools, but the rest appeared shell-less. She seems fine, so I am hoping the shells have all been passed. I'll keep a close eye on her regardless.
~Catherine
 
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