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Ask the Veterinarian/Dog eating dead animal



I have an 8 month old Beagle/Springer Spaniel mix. Last night while in the yard she got something dead from behind a bush, I am pretty sure it was a dead bird, but not 100%. I have no idea how long it's been there. She scarfed it down before I could even get to her. She seemed fine except maybe a little extra tired today and was having more bowel movements.

Well we were just outside and she got another one! Like I said, I'm not completely sure what she's getting but it's definitely dead and I think it has feathers. Is this dangerous to her or to us? I washed my hands after bringing her in, but that's about it. Are there any illnesses that her or my family could contract?

Thank you!

ANSWER: No but I would be concerned about the fact that there were two dead birds in your yard at all. What killed them? If they were poisoned she will also be poisoned by eating them.

That would be my biggest concern here! I would make her vomit up this bird by giving her about 5 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and pour it down her throat. I wouldn't feed her anything tonight either.

If she becomes lethargic, or starts to stumble or lose her balance she will need to be rushed to an emergency vet.

Get her to vomit now and avoid that if possible. But you must watch that she doesn't get any more. Birds just don't drop dead in groups unless they are being shot or poisoned.

If she starts to have diarrhea that would be normal but she could get gastritis or pancreatitis from this as well and those can be very serious if not treated.

So please try to make her vomit this up as soon as you can.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: That's a good point that I didn't think of! We don't have any poison out for any reason, so I can't imagine what it would be.

This happened maybe 5 or 6 hours ago at this point, is it too late to induce vomiting?


Yes it's too late. I am guessing she is fine? Again, if you notice any strange behavior, lethargy, vomiting, or excessive diarrhea, you really should call your vet and have her seen.

Maybe the birds froze? I don't know where you live but that is a possibility with the strange winter the east has had.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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