Fur in my dog's stomach

Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Taiwan for Life » 01 May 2012, 09:23

Dear All,
A few days ago, we noticed that our golden retriever was acting strangely. Primarily, it looked like he was having problems swallowing or had a sore throat/toothache. It wasn't a case of having problems swallowing while eating, more a case of continuously wanting to swallow even though he wasn't eating, like he was trying to swallow something stuck in his throat. He was obviously uncomfortable and couldn't sleep, so we took him to the vet and had x-rays and a medical examination. The vet wasn't sure what the problem was/is but x-rays reveal that there is a large mass of something in his stomach, and my wife and I are sure this is cat fur. Obviously this is not a good thing, and we need to do something about it, but is this likely to be the cause of this specific "swallowing" problem?
The vet has given us medicine to give him, which should help the fur pass through his body, but I've been "inspecting" his "offerings" and I don't see a lot of fur, so I'm not sure if it is working. I once heard of a girl who gave her cat a little bit of butter, which was supposed to help the cat "pass" the fur out. Does this work or is it a myth?
Needless to say, we are worried and feel guilty about what has happened and are now being super cautious about fur. We have taken his favorite cushion away from him for the time being because when he plays with it and drags it along the floor, it will pick up fur. We are also vacuum cleaning everyday. Our cat is Persian, and no matter how many times we groom him, there is still ALWAYS more fur. When I woke up this morning and looked around the place, there was more fur on the ground, despite having vacuumed last night.
So... I'm looking for advice. 1) What's the prognosis for our dog? 2) were the original symptoms we spotted being caused by this? 3) How do we get the fur out of him? (operation?) We are booked in to see the vet next week to see if the medicine has helped, but I"m looking for advice on here, in the meantime.

One last thing, on the night when he was uncomfortable, all he wanted to do was eat grass and leaves. He did and then vomited them up a few minutes later. I mention this in case it gives any more clues to the problem.
Thanks all,
TFL.
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Icon » 01 May 2012, 09:53

I also found out the hard way dogs eat anything. My dog stools -sent samples for parasite control- were full of, get this, paper fibers. He was raiding the garbage bin...

They lick themselves -like cats- and swallow fur and anything else. They also lick furniture, clothes, etc. and hence get fibers in. Cats you can give a special kind of hairball cream to help eliminate, never butter, good heaven's no way. Haven't found one for dogs, but yes, the doctors give you similar stuff, but it takes a while. Just observe and find out where the source is. Might not be easy, but in the meantime keep giving the medicine and keep an eye out for any weird symptoms.

Keep us posted.
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Taiwan for Life » 03 May 2012, 21:59

Thanks for the reply Icon. Honestly, I don't know what to do at the moment other than observe. He's on medicine and the symptoms are not so "acute". Every now and again, he does the "swallowing" motion as if something is stuck. He's still eating grass, which is presumably a way to make himself sick, i.e. that there is something in hi stomach (fur) that he doesn't want. Most of the time, he's acting normally, running around, and getting excited about food and going on walks.
However, there are signs that give away that he's not 100%, you know, the kind of things your dog does, but then doesn't do.

The x-ray revealed that up to half his stomach could be filled with fur.....is it going to take an operation to get it out? At the same time, I don't want to "read" into the situation too much and put him through anything unnecessarily.

Feeling a mixture of worry, guilt and sadness at the moment....any other advice out there would be appreciated.
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Confuzius » 03 May 2012, 23:48

I wish I had some advice to give you!

I don't think you need to feel guilty....I never would have ever thought of this. Though I think I will be more careful now with my dog, especially as we just got a cat.

Hang in there, post on some pet owner forums and let us know what happens!
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Battery9 » 04 May 2012, 01:05

Cats need to take anti-hairball medicine a lot, never thought of giving it to dogs! My dogs usually swallow when they are feeling nauseous, and eating grass is to help them vomit yes. If you are really worried, why not take the X-ray to another vet for another opinion? TO get that much hair, he must be licking his pillow, or the floor. I have one dog who wants to eat the hair of the other dogs when I shave them. WEIRD!!!!!!!!
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Taiwan for Life » 17 May 2012, 22:57

It's been a few weeks and now he seems to be back to his usual self. He had two weeks of medicine and some of the fur seems to be out of his body. We are jut monitoring him at the moment, but fingers crossed, this will be the end of it.
Thanks to all who gave advice!
TFL
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Icon » 18 May 2012, 10:43

Did you find out the source of the fur?
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby Taiwan for Life » 18 May 2012, 19:40

Yes, it's bound to be from our cat!
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Re: Fur in my dog's stomach

Postby sunberry » 20 May 2012, 09:44

Taiwan for Life wrote:He's still eating grass, which is presumably a way to make himself sick, i.e. that there is something in hi stomach (fur) that he doesn't want. Most of the time, he's acting normally, running around, and getting excited about food and going on walks.


Eating grass is a thing when a dog is feeling sick will do, it really does help. They like eating tall and coarse grass, don't worry.
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