Q: My dog ate a rock the other day. I was so scared I didn't know what to do so I called my vet and they said if it was small it should pass and if it was big to make him vomit.
I didn't know how to do that, either, so I took him in. They X-rayed him and saw the rock was small and said he should be OK. He was, but I would like to know how you make a dog vomit at home.
A: Dogs eat the craziest things sometimes. We have retrieved lots of rocks and other foreign bodies from pets over the years. Last week during our "lunch period," which is always the busiest part of the day, we had two foreign body removals going.
My colleague was removing baby deer hooves and pieces of fur from a 150-pound mastiff that had obviously found a tasty lunch in the woods. She was using a warm water enema to flush the pieces out of the colon, as they had made it all the way to the large intestine before causing overt mastiff distress.
I was simultaneously inducing a young boxer to vomit up the nine children's socks he ingested from a brand-new package of 12. Luckily, he did bring back up all nine socks intact after two doses of a medicine called Apomorphine.
Mind you, all this fun took place in the span of one 60-minute lunch period. I really can't make this stuff up.
There is a way to induce vomiting at home and protect my poor staff from lunch periods like that.
The easiest way is to administer plain old hydrogen peroxide orally to your pet. If he weighs 25 pounds or less, give one capful, which should be 5 cc, or 1 teaspoon. If he weighs 26 or more pounds, give 2 tablespoons, which is measured as 30 cc or 1 ounce down the gullet.
If you get all this into your pet, usually after about five minutes he will start to vomit. If he doesn't, repeat until vomiting occurs. It always works eventually, as I have induced vomiting in my beloved Nehlen on a few occasions in his younger days.
Inducing vomiting is a good way to get animals to bring things back up that they have recently ingested. After a few hours, whatever they have ingested will slide into the intestinal system and could cause an obstruction that would require surgery to retrieve.
If they have ingested a poison such as rat poison or antifreeze, you can still induce vomiting and then immediately get them to a veterinarian for further treatment. The ASPCA runs a wonderful hotline for potential animal poisonings called the Animal Poison Control Hotline. The phone number, which you should keep in a convenient and readily accessible location, is 1-888-426-4435. There is a $65 fee for this service and their expertise, but a pet's life can certainly be worth that to an owner.
So that is how to induce vomiting at home. I would certainly try it first if you can stomach it - pun intended. If not, I am sure your veterinarian will get out the Apomorphine, prepare the staff, and wait to see what comes up.
Send questions for Dr. Allison Dascoli to "Ask the Vet," Charleston Daily Mail, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston WV 25301 or email them to askthe...@dailymail.com. Comments or suggestions can be submitted the same way.