Linus ate a plastic bag!

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:20 pm


Jim heard Linus making a weird gacking coughing choking sound. We thought had aspirated some water. Jim took him out to hold him, and he made more weird coughs and his body shuddered a few times, and then he was fine.

About 20 minutes later, Jim discovered that Linus had pulled part of a plastic bag our newspapers come in through the grids of the cage. It was heavily chewed, and a couple of little pieces are missing.

Now he's acting fine, drinking and eating. We called the vet at K-State, and she said that if he's breathing, the main thing will be to watch and make sure he's pooping.

*sigh* I feel horrible that that bag was so close to the cage. Anything else we need to watch for?

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meggielou

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:29 pm


I use a plasitc grocery bag for trash when I spot clean the cage. May always likes to come sit by me and watch. One time she reached through the grid and grabbed the bag before I could stop her. I tried to get the piece out of her mouth, but she already swallowed it. :o( I was really worried, but she never had any complications. Now I'm just extra cautious about what is even in close proximity to the cage. A scary lesson to learn.

I hope Linus will be ok. It seems like the most danger could be them choking or suffocating on it.

briciolona

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:46 pm


My vet told me to give pig 2 ml of paraffin oil (liquid parafin) if pig ate some plastic.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:24 pm


Interesting about the parafin oil. I'm assuming it's to keep the bag from getting stuck?

Meggielou, that's basically what happened here. I use those bags the newspaper comes in to shovel poop into , and just like May, Linus was fascinated with it. After nearly choking on it, he seemed to swallow it. The poops are still coming out, and he's acting fine.

briciolona

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:34 pm


Interesting about the parafin oil. I'm assuming it's to keep the bag from getting stuck?
Yes!It should prevent bloat.

There is also an interesting article by Peter Gurney

http://www.oginet.com/pgurney/bloat.htm

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:33 pm


For people in this country, this article says that paraffin oil is mineral oil.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:07 pm


Oh! Okay. We have mineral oil at home.

klynne

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:36 pm


If you use the mineral oil, syringe him lots of oral fluids first. You don't want to coat any potential masses in that GI tract in anything waterproof. Ideally, you want anything in there soft and hydrated over the next few days.

Also, the little bits that are missing--any of them pouch-shaped, can you tell? As in, a corner of that bag or something? That is what would worry me most--if you got something inside Linus that could then fill up with fecal matter and possibly cause a blockage.

Fingers crossed that this too shall pass.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:14 pm


Nothing pouch-shaped. He nibbled on the side of the bag, so everything was flat.

He seems to be pooping, eating and drinking just fine, and he's not looking or acting like he doesn't feel well. Do you think it's okay to hold off on the mineral oil for the time being?

klynne

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:09 am


I myself would probably hold off, but, since you have such a good vet, I'd call them and ask, first.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:55 am


Our vet didn't mention using mineral oil at all, so I think I'll wait. Linus seems fine so far. The cage is full of poop in two sizes, so I know his GI system is still working.

maremma

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:17 am


Please do not wait to deal with this. Syringe fluids into him quickly, wait half an hour then give him a dose of mineral oil. The longer you wait the more chance that plastic has an apportunity to get stuck in any bend of his intestines or stuck in his cecum. HUGE problems will come if that happens.

As painstaking as it is keep him on towels and begin checking all his poops to be sure it comes out. It can stay stuck inside him somewhere for days, weeks or months then later the problem from it being stuck in there arises.

Do whatever you can to keep him eating a LOT of hay. Try different hays just to keep him eating a lot of it. if he isn't a big drinker keep syringing fluids into him.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:24 pm


Oh, Linus, you stinker! We haven't had this happen, but I think if you keep an eye on him and nothing drastic is happening he'll hopefully be ok. We have had incidents where the pigs have eaten paper they shouldn't have, but I know that's not as worrisome.

briciolona

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:01 pm


For people in this country, this article says that paraffin oil is mineral oil.
I am sorry! You know I am a foreigner and on the British side of the world!:-)

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:00 pm


Do whatever you can to keep him eating a LOT of hay. Try different hays just to keep him eating a lot of it. if he isn't a big drinker keep syringing fluids into him.

He eats tons of hay. I toss in clumps large enough to require to hands to carry them (the piles are usually taller than the guinea pigs), and he and Tom work on them until there isn't a strand left. This usually takes three hours.

I will call my vet and see what she thinks. Interestingly, one of her big questions was what type of plastic was it - a soft plastic (like grocery bags) or a hard plastic (probably like coroplast).

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somechick

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:34 pm


My old vet said that soft plastics are worse for pigs than harder plastics. He mentioned that eating a lot of soft plastics like that - which contain zinc - could lead to high levels of zinc in the system and would need to be treated if found.

But he also said that they tend to chew things up very tiny so it passes through their system. It's not like the pig can swallow a bag whole.

My pig ate one of those wee wee pads - a lot of it too - and we found no zinc and nothing became of it.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:51 pm


The harder plastics, as long as they don't poke a hole in anything, generally pass through. The soft, filmy plastics can adhere to the side of an intestinal, bowel or cecal wall for days, weeks, or months; then, if something comes along to dislodge them, they can reposition themselves and cause a blockage. That's the concern about 1) the type of plastic and 2) pouch-shaped or not.

If he were mine I'd make sure he has plenty of fluids, plenty of hay, and a little mineral oil. Then I swear I'd go through every single dropping he produced and pick it apart, until I either 1) found the piece or 2) went stark raving mad.

If it was only a small piece, I think the chances are very good he'll pass it without it causing any more problems. Was it by any chance an odd color? Sometimes the newspapers use pink, white or another color than clear. That'd be easier to see.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:54 pm


Unfortunately, what he ate was a clear plastic bag. From what I can tell, he ate little nibbles of it here and there, instead of a big piece.

He's drinking plenty of water and eating lots of hay and everything else we put in front of him. I did call the vet and asked her opinion about the mineral oil. She said it wouldn't hurt, but we would have to be able to monitor him closely to make sure that he was drinking enough water. She also said that the mineral oil was more effective on things that really get lodged, like hairballs, and didn't know how much of a difference it would make on really chewed up plastic (which this was).

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:17 am


I am going to hope -- and really do think -- he'll be okay. Hope I'm right.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:53 am


Both the boys ate a substantial amount of plastic and were none the worse for the wear (although I was)

I never had the problem with Pandora. I guess her being a picky eater is good in some ways.

Pigs eat poop plastic yet some fruits and veggies are suspect.

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