We do not recommend feeding your pet or giving your pet bones left over from one of your meals. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract. We have also had a patient get a piece of bone lodged in his pelvic canal and he was not able to defecate or pass the bone on his own.
This goes for bones you can get at the Pet Supply store as well, such as femur bones. Chewing on bones should always be supervised so your dog does not break off pieces and swallow them. Dogs cannot digest everything they eat and it can end up causing a blockage.
In December we had two different patients that had complications from receiving bones recommended by pet store staff. We are not certain whether these bones were edible or not, but the patients did ingest pieces of them if not the entire bone. Both patients presented with vomiting and unable to produce a bowel movement. Our first patient had bone fragments wedged in his pelvic canal that he was unable to pass on his own. Dr.Grosser recommended a work up with radiographs and bloodwork and then a high volume enema. The radiographs showed a fecal impaction imbedded with bone fragments and one larger bone blocking the pelvic canal. We still had to manually remove the largest bone fragment but we were able to flush out the impaction during the high-volume enema. Our patient was sent home on antibiotics, pain meds and an easily digested diet to allow the intestinal tract time to recover.
Our second patient had been chewing things in the house inappropriately and was given a bone to distract him from that behavior. Radiographs determined bone fragments throughout the intestinal tract as well as stuffing from what he was chewing in the home. He was seen twice by Dr. Grosser due to dehydration, lethargy and anorexia. He received fluid therapy to help move the slow-moving fecal material through the intestinal tract. He eventually passed a large bowel movement, at home, with the help of the fluid therapy he received in hospital and a stool softener that was sent home by the doctor.
In conclusion, when giving your pets’ bones use them with caution and supervision for the safety and health of your pet. Even edible bones can cause an upset stomach.