Summer BBQs: Giving our pets bones

August 4, 2015
hello world!

It’s that time of year again, its summer! Summertime is filled with lots of fun outdoor activities including, fairs, festivals and outdoor BBQs. Outdoor BBQs have to be the number one past time for us during the summer. We love food such as ribs, chicken thighs, wings and steaks. These foods are a delicious treat for us because we can pick at the bones! However, our canine companions cannot and most of the time end up swallowing the bones whole! It is risky to give our pets these foods because there are multiple life-threatening incidents that can happen...

Here are the most common incidents that occur when we give our pets bones:

    1. Broken teeth or mouth and tongue injuries. This can lead to a serious injury and may require dentistry work.
    2. Bone can get looped around your dog's lower jaw. Trust us, we've seen this happen! It can be terrifying for you and very painful for your dog. This will require a trip to the vet and can be quite costly.
    3. Bone gets stuck in the esophagus. This is the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, cough or hack, trying to bring the bone back up. You will need to visit your vet!
    4. 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. You will need to get your pet to your veterinarian immediately.
    5. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It may look like the bone 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 emergency exploratory surgery. Worse still,  they may require upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. This procedure, in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools, will try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
    6. Bone gets stuck in intestines, which causes a blockage. This usually requires emergency exploratory surgery as well. We can tell if there is a blockage by performing x-rays of the stomach and intestines.
    7. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing bone fragments because they're very sharp and they can scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and they may need a visit to the vet.
    8. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. If you see severe bleeding from your dog’s rectum it’s time to go see your veterinarian.
    9. 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. This usually happens when the bones are in the stomach and intestines for a long period. (When owners wait too long to bring their dog to the vet after they have eaten the bone.) Your dog will need an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can be fatal.

In conclusion, while you may think it is perfectly harmless to give your canine companion a bone from your plate, it can have serious effects. Your dog may beg and give you those puppy dog eyes, but you could end up harming instead of treating them. We recommend you visit your local pet store and find easy to digest bones and treats to give them instead!

If you have any question or concerns you can always contact your veterinarian and we will be happy to help advise you!