View Full Version : If a lion swallowed a brick

04-14-2011, 06:55 AM
Weird, I know. But assuming no one was around to help it, about how long would it take before it dies? Hours? Days? Weeks?

04-14-2011, 07:21 AM
It's possible the lion could never die from this. Or it's possible it could kill the lion in a few moments. It all depends on whether the brick settles peacefully, or tries to rip things open on the way down.

04-14-2011, 07:33 AM
Well, within a day or so, we'd sure find out if that famous expression really makes any sense.

Drachen Jager
04-14-2011, 08:30 AM
Every time I come to the Experts and Interviewees forum I am amazed at what weird stories you people must conceive.

The plot that requires a lion to swallow a brick just boggles my imagination.

04-14-2011, 08:34 AM
I was thinking it would make a good song. :)

04-14-2011, 09:12 AM
Good one, Poet. I almost found out laughing so hard.

And if a chicken and a half laid an egg and a half every day and a half, how much would a pound of butter weigh?

04-14-2011, 12:15 PM
You know, I really wish I could answer this definitively, but I'm glad to say I have no experience with animals eating large heavy objects that are similar to bricks.

Why is the lion swallowing the brick? Was someone tainting his meat? If you definitely want the lion dead, put nails in his food and other shrapnel. He'll likely eat more carefully after the first piece tears at his gums or mouth, but if he scarfs down he could ingest a bunch. Then it's teared guts and a miserable, burning death.

A brick alone could cause a rapid death from hole(s) in his stomach, or could just sit there making him increasingly uncomfortable, he won't eat (or won't eat much +/- vomiting). If the brick wedges in his pylorus/duodenum he'll be really miserable. Regardless, if it's not tearing anything you're looking at a slow death from starvation with GI cramps from hell.

Otoh, animals have been known to have smooth rock like objects in their guts and do fine. Horses and fecoliths for example.

ETA: a 'rapid' death from a torn gut could be hours or a day or so. Not sure with lions. If we were talking horses it would be a few minutes (no joke) to a few hours. They get septic from the tiniest tear and can drop dead faster than you can say 'oh shit'.

But I'm figuring a lion with a torn stomach will develop an abdominal infection, go septic and get a fever, and be done for. If the brick rolls around (particularly if the lion is rolling in pain) it can tear more stuff like a major artery and then he'll bleed out. This is all VERY hypothetical however. If you read up on swallowed bones and domestic cats (assuming you can find a source) you could take the worst case scenarios and extrapolate.

04-14-2011, 12:28 PM
How would it swallow it? A lion's throat isn't that much different than our own.

04-14-2011, 01:25 PM
Awesome! Thanks everyone. Really gets things done for this book!

04-14-2011, 02:02 PM
This is probably one of the most bizare questions I have read on here lately.

In terms of answer, I'm nto really sure to be honest. I would assume that it would cause some internal damage, maybe some tearing that could lead to internal bleeding. Also, if it got lodged somewhere it could lead to impaction, which is eventually quite messy and very painful.

04-14-2011, 03:08 PM
The esophagus is pretty good at expanding. Not sure how much a chunk a lion can easily swallow, but a brick or sharp object could easily lead to tearing and possible impaction. The biggest trouble areas are where the esophagus enters the rib cage, and where the esophagus hits the stomach (there's a spincter there, otherwise you'd regurgitate ever time you tumbled/went upside down).

If we're talking sharp objects like bones and nails, they can puncture and lodge in any tube or possibly the stomach. But you haven't told us what your story needs...

04-14-2011, 05:19 PM
A brick? Can't be done. The standard modular brick is 3 5/8" x 2 1/4" x 7 5/8."

04-14-2011, 05:44 PM
Just a thought, but wouldn't the lion break his teeth in the attempt?

04-14-2011, 07:03 PM
This was quite interesting, it's a lion who swallowed a stone

Lions, apparently, don't chew thier food, they swallow it in large chunks, which could account for them swalling other odd stuff as well.

And animals can swallow some pretty big things in relation to themselves http://www.itchmo.com/dog-survives-swallowing-wii-remote-2996


04-15-2011, 01:12 AM
First of all, I don't know a lot about lions, but I don't see how a lion could swallow a whole brick. A piece of one, maybe. And if it was a big enough piece, left untreated, he would die. Probably within a few hours. It would mostly depend on what happened. It could perforate the esophagus, stomach, intestines. It could cause a blockage and cut off blood circulation to other organs.

Now if small enough, it could pass, but a large piece, not likely. The longer it stayed in the system without causing a problem, the longer he would live. It is possible to even die within a few minutes if it was large enough to get stuck in the esophagus, or actually got inhaled in the airway, and he would choke to death pretty quickly.

Side note, my dog used to eat pieces of bricks as a puppy. Chew them up small enough that they didn't cause any problems. But I have worked in emergency veterinary medicine, and seen many problems with foreign body obstructions. Even during surgery they can die if the damage is extensive enough.

04-15-2011, 02:46 PM
Even soft items can cause problems. When I was a veterinary nurse I treated about 10 cows a week who had eaten things they shouldn't, usually barbed wire and plastic bags. My own horse ate a plastic bag once, and my cat ate a length of ribbon. We used to get ALOT of puppies in who had eaten socks.

04-15-2011, 08:40 PM
I haven't provided much detail, and that's because I'm not there yet. But all this info helps me figure out how to get to this situation and how it ties the story together. Thanks for your help, everyone!

Royal Mercury
04-15-2011, 10:56 PM
This was quite interesting, it's a lion who swallowed a stone

Well, there's the OPs answer in that article. Approximately 2 weeks. Though we don't know how large the stone was, or whether it was smooth or rough which could affect things.

04-16-2011, 05:06 PM
The second story said 7cm x 3cm for the rock in the lion's gut, so not massive.

The dog swallowing the wii remote is pretty impressive, and the knife is :eek:

And a technicality: A blockage in the gut may cause local intestine to die, but it won't kill off other organs unless there is a torsion.

04-19-2011, 12:13 AM
I'm stilling trying to figure out why the old lady swallowed a fly.

04-19-2011, 12:18 AM
Goose throats are good at expanding because they eat whole prey, lion throats not so much. I don't think a lion could swallow a brick.