How to Find Ingested Foreign Objects in Poop

Admittedly, not the most savory subject. But, for those of us with pets and/or children it is sometimes a necessity to try to find a previously ingested foreign object in feces to make sure that it does not cause medical problems in the person or animal that has accidentally eaten it.

Recently, we thought our dog had eaten a relatively small magnet and figured that we would have to be checking his feces over the next few days to ensure that he passed it. I’ve not had to do this before and off the top of my head I didn’t know the best way to go about it. Turning to the Internet, all of the searches with the exact same title as this blog article turned up other articles about how long things take to move through the digestive tract. That you should call your Dr. or Vet. But nothing that specifically said how to actually search for the object in the offending matter.

Eventually, I found a blog posting on some dog owner site with a very good suggestion and here is what I did.

  1. Collect the feces as you normally would in a poop bag and bring it home.
  2. Cut open the bag and dump it in a quart sized or bigger ziplock freezer bag. The bigger the bag (to a point) the better.
  3. Shake the feces to the bottom of the bag and lay it flat on your driveway, sidewalk, or similarly hard surface outside. Doing it outside makes clean-up much easier if the bag develops a rip.
  4. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible while smooshing the feces out such that it is transformed into a thin layer inside the bag.
  5. While doing so, you will easily find all but the smallest of objects just by feeling it through the bag without getting your hands dirty.
  6. Once you identify it, you can either retrieve it from the bag and clean it off, or just toss it knowing that your child/pet has passed the item safely.

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