Puppies and kittens are always looking for new ways to get into trouble. Thankfully, our vethelpline® experts are here to answer the tough questions from concerned pet parents.
Member concern: Rising concerns
Our new puppy, Pluto, chewed up a dry yeast packet about 10 minutes ago. Most of the yeast ended up on the floor, and he didn’t ingest the foil packet. Currently, there’s no sign of any reaction, and he ate two hours prior to the incident. Do I need to take him to the vet?
Yeast ingestion is tricky. On an empty stomach, dry yeast may cause some gastrointestinal upset, but not much more than that. However, the presence of even a small amount of carbohydrates in the stomach increases the risk that the yeast will activate, causing dangerous alcohol intoxication. Carbon dioxide gas can also be produced, which increases the likelihood of a foreign body obstruction, bloat and twisted stomach.
Given that risk—and the timeframe in which Pluto last ate—we recommend inducing vomiting at home as a precaution. Give him a water solution with 1 ½ tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (3%), then a second dose with 2 tablespoons. After vomiting, don’t feed Pluto for at least two hours, then offer him some cold water. Closely monitor for signs of alcohol intoxication, including lethargy, impaired coordination and balance or weakness.
Member concern: Creepy crawlers
Our kitten, Luigi, obsessively eats bugs that he finds around the house. We’ve tried introducing new toys and giving him cat treats to curb this behavior, but it doesn’t matter. Bugs, bugs, bugs—that’s what he wants. We called a pest control company, but he still finds more bugs.
He hasn’t shown any signs of distress, drooling or vomiting after eating an insect—but we’re very concerned that Luigi might eat a bug that’s toxic or dangerous. Help!
The good news is there are no common insects in the U.S. that would permanently harm a kitten if ingested.
Many insects do cause a strong, uncomfortable taste reaction when ingested, which can lead to salivation, foaming, gagging or vomiting in pets. Also, insects and arachnids that sting or bite can cause an allergic response—in some cases, a pretty serious one—that may require immediate evaluation and treatment by a veterinarian.
If Luigi is showing adverse signs, try rinsing his mouth out with a small amount of water—but be sure not to point the water back into his mouth! Then, offer some tuna juice packed in water, chicken broth or canned cat food to help get the taste out of his mouth. Monitor him closely for signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling, itching and lethargy.
*Pets’ names have been changed
vethelpline® experts are not a substitute for your veterinarian. They cannot prescribe or authorize refills of medications, treat, or diagnose your pet’s condition.
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