HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

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HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby Annalouise » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:46 am

He was on the cement path in the garden, hes gone for pebbles before so when I spotted one I tried to grab it but he licked it and then ate it! It happened so fast! When hes tried to eat a pebble in the past it was large so he spat it out again.

The cement was quite thin and very rugged. I have done a reinactment using a piece of pea pod to show the size in relation to him.

https://media.discordapp.net/attachment ... height=468

What can i do? Is it likely to pass through his system? If i take him to the vets can they make him regurgitate it?
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:02 am

Was it a bit of just concrete ?

or did it have some aggegate of somekind in it (ie bluestone) ?

Or was it a loose bit of aggregate that had come away from the cement matrix ? ie an actual stone ?

How big was the fragment ?


If it was just cement with no stone in it , it'll likely react in the stomach juices aand might be able to be passed through the GIT. No guarantees there .

If it was concrete with aggregate in it …. or a piece of loose aggregate …. this is a problem.

I'd consult with a reptile vet on this , xrays are in order I think and then take it from there depending what the vet finds and the size and shape of the fragment.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby Annalouise » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:19 am

I've had a look at the path and it looks like cement slabs but I'm not really sure how to identify aggregates. I think there is stuff mixed in with the cement mix, it looks like it has small particles, sand particle size or a little bit bigger. It was definitely not a loose stone as it wasn't smooth looking, it looked like it was chipped off the path, kind of eroded looking.


i tried to add a url with a picture of my beardie and the size of the cement to the main post, did it work?
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:30 am

Annalouise wrote:I've had a look at the path and it looks like cement slabs but I'm not really sure how to identify aggregates. I think there is stuff mixed in with the cement mix, it looks like it has small particles, sand particle size or a little bit bigger. It was definitely not a loose stone as it wasn't smooth looking, it looked like it was chipped off the path, kind of eroded looking.


i tried to add a url with a picture of my beardie and the size of the cement to the main post, did it work?


Lots of pictures of concrete with aggregate mixed in here : https://www.google.com.au/search?tbm=is ... 2340251263

If got no "stones" or "pebbles" mixed in with it it'll look like the mud that brickies use to lay bricks or will have very smooth sandy appearance.

Reactions of cement in the stomach are as follows :
2HCl + Ca(OH)2 → CaCl2 + 2H2O
CaCl2 + 3 CaO.Al2O3 + 10H2O → 3CaO.Al2O3.CaCl2.10H2

More details :
When hardened concrete is in contact with / immersed in acid (ie stomach acid = HCl mainly) the eventual reaction result is cement hydration products and aggregate minerals.

Concrete is largely Ca(OH)2.
Ca(OH)2 + 2HCl --> CaCl2 + 2H2O

Reaction rate = k[Ca2+][Cl2-]^2 , the value of k is available in any good chemistry textbook or the SI Handbook or Perry's Chemican Engineers' HB or the HB of Physics and Chemistry.

Ettringite reaction is
6CaO.Al2O3.3SO3.32H2O + 6HCl --> 3CaCl2 + 2Al(OH)3 + 3CaSO4 + 32H2O

CHS GEL (pH about 10.5)
xCaO.ySiO2.nH2O + 2xHCl --> xCaCl2 + ySi(OH)4 + (x+n-2y)H2O

The reaction rate is highly dependent on the surface area and temperature.
I do not think a significant amount of the fragment will be dissolved in the typical time it takes for the piece to move through the GIT of the dragon.

If its the size you now show (since my initial response) - it might just take a few days to pass. I'd watch for any issues .
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:43 am, edited 4 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby claudiusx » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:02 am

A piece of cement or concrete that size should pass through with no real issues.

Keep up with the feedings and make sure your basking temps are proper to help facilitate digestion which will help push the foreign object out.
There is another thread from last night here of a dragon who ate a penny. You can follow the advice given in that thread for this case too.

The goal is to continue feeding a normal diet to push the object through, but to also supplement with baby food once a day or every other day to help things move along if anything is getting stuck.

I wouldn't worry about any chemical reactions......

-Brandon
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby claudiusx » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:05 am

And not that it matters much or changes what you need to do to help your dragon pass this, but if it's a pathway, it's most likely concrete, not cement. Concrete is cement mixed with sand and aggregates such as small pebbles or rocks. Cement in and of itself isnt very strong for a walkway, which is why concrete would be used.
It doesnt have to have exposed pebble or aggregate to be concrete. When concrete is poured it's usually smoothed over and skimmed to make it a smooth surface.

-Brandon
Last edited by claudiusx on Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby Annalouise » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:09 am

claudiusx wrote:A piece of cement or concrete that size should pass through with no real issues.

Keep up with the feedings and make sure your basking temps are proper to help facilitate digestion which will help push the foreign object out.
There is another thread from last night here of a dragon who ate a penny. You can follow the advice given in that thread for this case too.

The goal is to continue feeding a normal diet to push the object through, but to also supplement with baby food once a day or every other day to help things move along if anything is getting stuck.

I wouldn't worry about any chemical reactions......

-Brandon



Thank you for the reassurance. I am working all weekend so the soonest I could take him to the vets would be Monday. He poops regularly so he should poop before then, in which case I will check for cement pieces.

I've asked a couple other bearded dragon places and they seem to say vets or he will die, which is really fuelling my panic. In reality I always wait to see if a problem will right itself before seeking medical care, including for my cat (who has lasted 20 years so far) and myself. I find going for medical care before waiting to be a waste of time, as usually you are sent away and told to come back in a week if the problems still there. Plus if you wait then you can gather a bit more information about the problem before going, like knowing if beardie is still managing to poop or not.
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby claudiusx » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:17 am

The only thing they will be able to do at the vet is surgery, which has it's own risks. For peace of mind you can bring him in to get your vets opinion, but, that's all they would be able to do, surgery. They might want to do an xray to gauge the size of the object to better determine if surgery would be needed, but it wont be cheap and like mentioned, it has it's own risks. Especially if the vet isnt very familiar with reptile surgeries.

It's really up to you, but I just wanted you to know based on the size of the object you posted, it will most likely pass. it looks smaller than a penny, which weve seen pass before. The difference is a penny is smooth, and this object might hurt moving through the system. You'll have to keep an eye on your dragon and watch his behavior, and be checking the poos to make sure if there is blood, it's only small amounts.

Good luck!

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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:55 am

Annalouise wrote:
claudiusx wrote:A piece of cement or concrete that size should pass through with no real issues.

Keep up with the feedings and make sure your basking temps are proper to help facilitate digestion which will help push the foreign object out.
There is another thread from last night here of a dragon who ate a penny. You can follow the advice given in that thread for this case too.

The goal is to continue feeding a normal diet to push the object through, but to also supplement with baby food once a day or every other day to help things move along if anything is getting stuck.

I wouldn't worry about any chemical reactions......

-Brandon



Thank you for the reassurance. I am working all weekend so the soonest I could take him to the vets would be Monday. He poops regularly so he should poop before then, in which case I will check for cement pieces.

I've asked a couple other bearded dragon places and they seem to say vets or he will die, which is really fuelling my panic. In reality I always wait to see if a problem will right itself before seeking medical care, including for my cat (who has lasted 20 years so far) and myself. I find going for medical care before waiting to be a waste of time, as usually you are sent away and told to come back in a week if the problems still there. Plus if you wait then you can gather a bit more information about the problem before going, like knowing if beardie is still managing to poop or not.


Wont hurt to take him to a reptile vet and ask for an xray to determine if there is a likely issue .
This will at least tell you what you are dealing with since you can't be sure how large the fragment was because it all happened so fast.


I think it's worth the vet visit for the reassurance it will give you even if he did ingest it .

All well and good to down play these incidents when it's NOT YOUR PET, but really better safe than sorry later if you did nothing but wait.
There are options available for a competent reptile vet if the fragment is deemed to be an issue.

I know of a bluetongue skink that belongs to a friend that swallowed a lego block ( small brightly coloured lego blocks are irresistible to skinks and dragons (who have excellent colour vision and thing they are food) . The vet put the skink under and removed the block using a suction device inserted past the glottis into the stomach.
Skink was awake and none the worse for it an hour later and the owner was much relieved but a little poorer.

The uptake is , sooner the vet sees the dragon, the easier it's going to remove the fragment if it needs to be removed. Waiting turns an easy fast procedure into a very invasive major surgical procedure with high risk.

If there are any sharp edges on the fragment , these can do serious damage on the way to the bottom end of the GIT , ie perforate the GIT , this would be bad. This was the main risk and why the vet decided to mechanically remove the lego block from the skink's gut.

So taking the wait and see approach has it's risks and you will likely be very anxious until you see the fragment deposited in a poo , or upchucked.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby Annalouise » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:50 am

HE HAS POOPED! Never been so happy to see poop before!

Seems the concrete did breakdown, it now looks like a grey/beige sludge with lots of small grit in it. The poo was huge and the concrete was at the very start so it looks although it's all cleared out.

He did appear to have a tummy ache yesterday morning, he was holding his belly a little different to normal. He did enthusiastically chase dubias around though so he mustn't have felt that unwell! He seems happy last night and this morning, with the poop being around lunch or late morning of sunday. He ate the cement about 3 o'clock on Friday.
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:28 am

Glad to hear he passed it --- NO more cement blizzards for him!! :D
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Re: HELP! My beardie ate a piece of cement

Postby claudiusx » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:38 am

Great to hear!
Keep an eye on the next couple poos to make sure :D

So happy for you two.

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