Our dogs are like our family members and if something ever happened to them we’d be devastated. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners not to buy bone treats after 15 dogs died from them.
“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian at the FDA, said according to Business Insider.
The Food and Drug Administration received reports about 15 deaths and 68 reports of dogs who became ill after consuming packaged dog bone treats.
“Veterinarians see many problems related to chewing and ingestion of bones by dogs of all sizes and breeds. Bones can be swallowed whole or they can crack and splinter, leading to choking, vomiting or blockages in the digestive tract,” Spokesperson for the American Veterinary Medical Association Michael San Filippo said. “In extreme cases, splintered bones can perforate a dog’s esophagus, stomach or intestines, which can be fatal without emergency intervention.”
There have been reports of treats being moldy and splintering when chewed. These are not the same as uncooked bones from the butcher or leftover from dinner.
These are bones that are packaged and sold.
They are put through a smoking process and are packed with preservatives and flavoring. They’re usually sold as “ham bones,” “pork femur bones,” or “smokey knuckle bones.”
Treats like dried pig ears or rawhide have also been known to be harmful to dogs for possibly containing salmonella or quaternary ammonium compounds, according to Forbes. These treats have been linked to gastric irritation, diarrhea, and vomiting.
“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” Stamper said. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away.”
The FDA also said that you shouldn’t give your dog unprocessed bones.
This includes chicken, steak, or turkey bones because they are brittle and can splinter and break easily. Make sure you keep them out of reach when cooking and secure your garbage cans.
“Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there,” the FDA says.
You can talk to your vet about what treats are best for your dog. Once you get your dog a vet-approved treat, it’s always best to monitor your dog when they are using this new product.
If you have problems with a pet treat, you can report it to the FDA here.
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