No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

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ayjayar
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No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby ayjayar » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:48 pm

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued the following news release:

No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

The idea that it's natural for dogs to chew on bones is a popular one.

However, it's a dangerous practice and can cause serious injury to your pet.

"Some people think it's safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast," says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration.

"Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian's office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death."

"Make sure you throw out bones from your own meals in a way that your dog can't get to them," adds Stamper, who suggests taking the trash out right away or putting the bones up high and out of your dog's reach until you have a chance to dispose of them.

"And pay attention to where your dog's nose is when you walk him around the neighborhood--steer him away from any objects lying in the grass."

Here are 10 reasons why it's a bad idea to give your dog a bone:

1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
2. Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
3. Bone gets looped around your dog's lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!
6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone's size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove
the stuck bone from the stomach.
7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.
8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they're very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.
9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It's time for a trip to see your veterinarian.
10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog's stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.

"Talk with your veterinarian about alternatives to giving bones to your dog," says Stamper.

"There are many bone-like products made with materials that are safe for dogs to chew on."

"Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn't had before," adds Stamper.

"And always, if your dog 'just isn't acting right,' call your veterinarian right away!"

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page4, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm208365.htm


"Little Dog's Rhapsody in the Night" by Mary Oliver

He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.
And when I'm awake, or awake enough

he turns upside down, his four paws
in the air
and his eyes dark and fervent.

Tell me you love me, he says.

Tell me again.

Could there be a sweeter arrangement? Over and over
he gets to ask it.
I get to tell.

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby starrlamia » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:01 pm

What they fail to mention is that most of those problems are from Cooked bones, not raw.

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby Meaghan Edwards » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:38 pm

starrlamia wrote:What they fail to mention is that most of those problems are from Cooked bones, not raw.

x2. Also there's been a lot of blockages and recalls from so called "safe" products such as rawhide, chew toys, etc.

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby JoeBingo » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:02 pm

Is there any reason to believe that large raw bones or bones such as Merricks smoked bones are bad ?

msvette2u

Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby msvette2u » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:16 pm

There are plenty of people who feed raw and their dogs have broken teeth.

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby El_EmDubya » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:08 am

msvette2u wrote:There are plenty of people who feed raw and their dogs have broken teeth.


Yep, but most of those come from feeding weight bearing bones, which are very, very dense.

Here's a survey of Raw feeders that is a good documentation of the small, small risk:

http://www.rawfitpet.com/pb/wp_fa7e8251/wp_fa7e8251.html
http://www.petsurveys.org/pb/wp_00cbfae6/wp_00cbfae6.html (This one is very detailed about dental issues.)

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:29 am

Something not mentioned that I've seen several times is bones stuck BETWEEN the upper molars of the upper jaw. The dogs come in frantic, inconsolable, pawing their faces bloody and require immediate heavy sedation for removal. I've seen this twice with bones and twice with sticks...

I've yet to see a bone stuck in the stomach or intestine, but broken teeth are very common with both raw and smoked bones.

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby JoeBingo » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:27 am

Misskiwi67 wrote:Something not mentioned that I've seen several times is bones stuck BETWEEN the upper molars of the upper jaw. The dogs come in frantic, inconsolable, pawing their faces bloody and require immediate heavy sedation for removal. I've seen this twice with bones and twice with sticks...

This happened to Sugar once last year. She was running around the backyard frantic and pawing air alongside her head and jaw, first one side and then the other.

I opened her mouth and couldn't see anything. It wasn't until I stuck my hand way into her mouth and feeling around, that I discovered a stick wedged high up in the back of her mouth pressed hard across her palette, between her teeth. I was able to remove it easily thank goodness.

Rowdy and Sugar have lots of smoked bones laying around and they love to gnaw on them. After reviewing this thread and the links provided, I will have to rethink how wise that might be. I never give them anything rawhide because of the cautions I've heard. Smoked bones are the only product I've found either natural or man-made that stand up to their chewing and gnawing AND overwhelmingly appeals to them. Other chew items besides the bones, are seldom touched and they show little interest. Don't know what I'm gonna do, but I can't afford a bunch of broken teeth and even if I could, I sure as heck want to avoid that. hmmm

msvette2u

Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby msvette2u » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:32 am

We use the chicken jerky they sell at Costco, and also pork rawhides, which digest easier than cow rawhide. They love to chew on those and even my strong chewers don't get them done too quickly.
Sometimes we give them bully sticks (dehydrated bull penis) but not often as they are spendy.

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby Adrianne » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:36 am

I have never had a dog live their whole life without worn or chipped teeth, no matter their diet.

Arnold has several broken teeth from his crate destruction, Hannah has several broken from fighting other dogs, Shamoo has several chipped from bob-a-lot and other "brain" toys, and Patty (a placed foster) lost her tooth running into a window (lol). However, every vet I have met proclaims even if they don't like raw diets my dogs have beautiful teeth and I have never done a dental nor brushed a single dog tooth.

I rarely feed weight baring bones but I don't worry about their effect on my dogs teeth for my most part primarily because life in general is dangerous for dogs teeth.

ETA: My friends dog last night lost a tooth on a tug, its a kibble fed dog who's been nothing but "healthy" and has a "by the books" owner.

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby spammie » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:32 pm

JoeBingo wrote:Other chew items besides the bones, are seldom touched and they show little interest.

Have you tried durable Nylabones?

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby msvette2u » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:51 pm

spammie wrote:
JoeBingo wrote:Other chew items besides the bones, are seldom touched and they show little interest.

Have you tried durable Nylabones?


We also use those - I'm unable to edit my posts since I'm not a "regulator" or I would have "eta" and put Nylabones ;)
We have 4-6 of them at any time lying about the house and just about all the dogs use them!

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby JoeBingo » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:03 pm

spammie wrote:
JoeBingo wrote:Other chew items besides the bones, are seldom touched and they show little interest.

Have you tried durable Nylabones?

I have spammie but not in a couple of years. I did encountered issues with them. One, Rowdy destroys them rather quickly ... if he messes with them at all. Two, Sugar has no interest in them what so ever. Sugar had several she enjoyed long ago while going through the puppy chew phase. She lost interest as she matured.

Rowdy and Sugar really are not "chewers". They don't ever mess with my clothing or furniture, pet beds, throw rugs or anything. Only the smoked Merrick bones fascinate them. Well that and Rowdy loves to destroy any fetch toy such as a Chuckit "Tennis" ball.

I think I will go back to square one and give Nylabones another look, in maybe something flavored or scented besides mint. I haven't tried Mylabone's Big Chews which are almost $20 each. Plus, I think I will give Vette's suggestions a try too. But, they're gonna miss their Merrick bones for sure.

msvette2u

Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby msvette2u » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:07 pm

My dogs enjoy this one a lot
http://www.nylabone.com/product-finder/ ... l-chew.htm

We also have a few of these lying around they use
http://www.nylabone.com/product-finder/ ... o-bone.htm

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Re: No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Postby Adrianne » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:22 pm

Do rowdy and sugar like kongs? It seems a safe alternative if you choose not to feed bones. I have a client who will get bone marrow ( I dunno if she buys it or scraps it herself) and she'll stuff kings with it. She has tiny dogs tho so it's not like filling a big kong but I bet you could add more to the kong to fill it.


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