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  #1  
Old 05-12-2003, 10:59 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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Holy shit, I hope dogs can digest bones

I have three small dogs - a schnauzer, a possible basenji/mutt, and a weird little terrier. Anyway, my friend had some beef rib bones that he gave me to give to the dogs to chew on. Now, I intended to give them the dogs the bones to chew on for a while, and then put them away until the next time they were out of the kennel (I was going to use this to try and tone down Hector's food aggressiveness by taking the bones and giving him other treats). Well, my Mom let the dogs keep the bones in their kennel. Then, this evening, I decided to check under their bedding because I thought they were probably hidden, but they are all gone. The dogs apparently ate the bones. They haven't shown any signs of distress yet, but I'm worried. These were three rather large chunks of cow rib, probably a couple of pounds. The biggest dog is maybe 25 lbs. I'm surprised because I gave Hector a cow femur a couple of Christmasses ago and it lasted him for several weeks.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2003, 11:02 PM
jack@ss jack@ss is offline
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I wouldn't worry that much about it. dogs have been eating bones as long as they've been dogs.
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2003, 11:08 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Eating bones is not a good thing for the domestic dog. (Wild dogs may do it, but hey, they only live for three to five years.)

As long as they didn't choke, I'd say your biggest worry now is blockage in the intestines, or possible punctures. Watch them carefully for the next few days. Look for any blood in the stool. Constipation is a bad sign, and if either of these occurs, take them to the vet ASAP.

I'd also strongly recommend not giving them real bones in the future. There are just too many bad things which could happen.
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Old 05-12-2003, 11:12 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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I'm worried because I think they were cooked...yeah, they were cooked...that's not good according to most sites I've read so far.
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2003, 12:08 AM
elfbabe elfbabe is offline
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Well, on the plus side, at least they weren't chicken bones. Those are just NOT good, as they splinter way too easily. As Lissa said, watch them carefully and take them to the vet at any sign of trouble. Still, on the other hand, they're going to be more resilient than, say, your average small child.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2003, 12:26 AM
Agback Agback is offline
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G'day

Well, dogs can digest bones. The problems are that sometimes they swallow splinters of bone that are too large and pointy, which can injure their intestines; and that if they eat too much bone they can get constipated. The second complaint is fairly common, but not often serious. The first seems to be rather rare: I have only spoken with one vet who has ever dealt with a case himself--for the rest it's all 'a friend of a friend told me once' stuff.

Your dogs will probably be alright. I have known my dog to reduce a bullock's femure to a six inch section of the shaft in only two hours and be perfectly alright. And rib bones tend not to splinter as harder bones often do. But keep an eye on them. At the first sign of blood in their stools, fever, abnormal thirst, swollen abdomen, unproductive straining while trying to pass a stool, loss of appetite, or abnormal restlessness or listlessness, whisk them off to the vet.

In future you might want to be a bit more careful, if only for your own peace of mind. A bone can disappear completely into a dog in astonishingly short time.

Regards,


Agback

Regards
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2003, 02:22 AM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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I'm afraid that Hector may have ate them all...Gizmo has a little mouth and is a dainty eater, and Sara is old and crazy and I'm not sure she'd have the attention span to finish eating a bone. Well, I cleaned all the dog poop off of the patio so I'll be able to tell tomorrow if they have pooped.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2003, 06:46 AM
smam smam is offline
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We got a rotisserie chicken from our supermarket one night. I used most of the breast meat to make sandwhiches and binned the rest of the carcass in a tied plastic bag.
You know the rest, I came home from work to find an upturned bin, a clawed bag and absolutely no trace of chicken , not even a slither to warrant getting the hoover out.
My dog is a medium sized lab and none the worse for his greedy shenanigans. He once ate a whole bar of Galaxy, paper, tin-foil the lot.
Dont give dogs chocolate of chicken bones. but if they do get at them, chances are they will be Ay-ok.
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2003, 09:12 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is online now
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A friend of mine did an experimental archaeology project to compare human chew marks with dog chew marks on cooked bones.

Step 1: She stewed up a bunch of lamb and had people over to gnaw on half the (very cooked, fairly soft from stewing) bones. Conclusions: eating bones is incredibly filling. Sample chew-marked bones taken home for analysis.

Step 2: She came over to my house to let our beagle gnaw the remaining bones. Within 5 minutes the bones had disappeared. Conclusions: dogs don't chew bones, they *eat* them. Even a small dog can vaporize cooked bone in minutes. Finding dog chew-marked leftover bones is unlikely unless they were very large to begin with.

Science marches on.
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2003, 09:21 AM
Duke of Rat Duke of Rat is offline
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I don't like my 20 lb dog to get ahold of pork rib bones..they spinter very easily. Same with chicken bones. Beef rib bones seem to be the best (I get club steaks instead of rib eyes sometimes just for the bones), but he gnaws on them for a day or so and I toss them. He does get constipated if I let him eat them, which he eventually will.

Now for the strange part. A guy I work with lives next to a guy who raises Great Danes. This guy feeds them....whole chickens. Of course my buddy asked him about the chicken bone thing, and the guy says a raw chicken won't hurt them, it's the cooked chicken you have to worry about.

That's all fine and good, they're his dogs. I don't think I want to test his theory on my dog.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2003, 09:26 AM
biddee biddee is offline
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Well, my parents have had dogs for years and most died of old age (not one died from eating bones). They have fed them all the leftovers including cooked and raw chicken bones, whole raw fish, beef, mutton, pork and every other possible kind of bone that's crossed their table. The dogs have been fine....maybe they just breed tougher dogs in South Africa.

PS Apart from one Rotweiler, none of the dogs were purebred and were mostly large breed...maybe that makes a difference.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2003, 09:39 AM
andymurph64 andymurph64 is offline
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I heard raw bones==ok

Cooked bones==bad because they splinter.

I have no idea if the above is true, however.
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2003, 09:49 AM
Tomcat Tomcat is offline
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That is one of the strangest differences I've noticed between the US and the Czech Republic- the bone eating pet thing. Czechs are crazy for their pets, they have tons of society groups, TV shows, magazines and newspapers on pets. Every pet is pedigree too, no mutts allowed here. They also have the nicest dogs I've ever met because they are so socialized- daily walks to the park and friends houses and even offices have schedules for when people can bring in their dogs. So, Czechs LOVE their pets, m'kay? And they feed them bones. Chicken bones, beef bones, fish bones, bone bones. They only recommend not feeding chicken bones to older pets because they won't chew them up enough. But kitty and fido get bones in their diets on a weekly basis. Based on this observation, Badtz, I think you are going to be just fine. I really think that this anti-bones thing was blown out of proportion to begin with and has never been corrected or even tested properly. Yes, I know that Vets there say not to, but the Vets here don't say that and I see dogs eating chicken bones every time I go to my parents-in-law's house...

-Tcat
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2003, 05:56 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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Well, Hector produced a big white, non-bloody turd today, and seems pretty happy.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2003, 09:13 PM
sajwalke sajwalke is offline
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My friend's adorable little mutt Nikki ate a chicken wing whole, and she's fine. Of course she puked it up all over the carpet later that eavening, so maybe you should be more careful with the bones, but it shouldn't cause the dogs too much distress.
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2003, 09:26 PM
jack@ss jack@ss is offline
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I'm glad to hear that Hector's OK. I think the little guys will be fine too.

Genghis (62 lbs) eats bones all the time; pork, beef, mutton, venison. Just no long poultry bones.
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2003, 11:34 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Tomcat, giving your dog a bone isn't necessarily going to kill him, but there's a potential for harm there that other treats don't have. I know my dog would most likely survive if I gave her the T-bone from my steak, but why risk it?

Similarly, I don't give her rawhide. She's had it before, loved it, and survived with no consequences, and probably would if I gave it to her again. But, one time is all it takes for your pet to be seriously ill as a result. Why give her something I know might potentially be harmful when there are plenty of inoccuous alternatives? I don't have to worry that a Veggie Bone might hurt her.
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  #18  
Old 05-13-2003, 11:36 PM
phraser phraser is offline
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Vet student weighing in here:

Bones are ok in small quantities.

Raw chicken wings and necks are recommended.

Excess bone consumption can cause constipation.

Cooked bones can splinter and cause intestinal perforations.

If you give bones, they are quite high-calorie, so reduce the amount of regular food you give that day.
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  #19  
Old 05-14-2003, 09:07 AM
Tomcat Tomcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lissa
Tomcat, giving your dog a bone isn't necessarily going to kill him, but there's a potential for harm there that other treats don't have. I know my dog would most likely survive if I gave her the T-bone from my steak, but why risk it?

Similarly, I don't give her rawhide. She's had it before, loved it, and survived with no consequences, and probably would if I gave it to her again. But, one time is all it takes for your pet to be seriously ill as a result. Why give her something I know might potentially be harmful when there are plenty of inoccuous alternatives? I don't have to worry that a Veggie Bone might hurt her.
I think that's the difference, they don't HAVE the alternatives here. Veggie bones? Hah!

They have the basic treats and stuff and more are showing up as the economy here develops, but the average Czech isn't the rishest person in the world, so when it comes to feeding Fido, the table scraps are used.

Glad to hear your dogs are OK, Badtz!
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2003, 01:23 PM
Salieri2 Salieri2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Badtz Maru
Well, Hector produced a big white, non-bloody turd today, and seems pretty happy.
FYI the whiteness of that turd is digested bone. A danger sign to watch for would be diarrhea with blood and/or mucous [which is what you'd get if a bone chunk had irritated Hector's intestine.] Don't be afraid to fast him for a day [always provide water] if you want to be sure his gut calms down. A meal of straight-up, nothing-added pumpkin is very good for constipation as well as diarrhea; most dogs like it, and it'd give you a good idea of how well things are passing through, since it comes out as orange as it goes in .

And there is a steadily growing subculture of raw-bone-feeding dog [and cat] owners in the USA, Canada, & the UK; lots of people have been doing it for years down under in Australia, where the pet-food companies haven't been funding advertising and training veterinarians for quite as long.

Personally I have a hard time not flinging curses at the television when I see dog food commercials, especially Beneful for some reason. MrSalieri2 seems to have adjusted to this behavior, as well as the raw turkey necks filling the downstairs freezer and the Sweeney-Toddish scenes in the basement when I prepare raw meals. But then, compared with his hobbies, dog nutrition is fairly restrained.
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2003, 04:25 PM
j.c. j.c. is offline
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"I don't have to worry that a Veggie Bone might hurt her." Actually, Lissa you should worry quite a lot. Veggie treats will hurt your dog. High vegetable diets and veggie treats cause bowel obstructions and other serious problems in dogs. As a Vet in a town like Berkeley or Boulder.
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2003, 05:05 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by j.c.
"I don't have to worry that a Veggie Bone might hurt her." Actually, Lissa you should worry quite a lot. Veggie treats will hurt your dog. High vegetable diets and veggie treats cause bowel obstructions and other serious problems in dogs. As a Vet in a town like Berkeley or Boulder.
That's strange. My vet told me the exact opposite. She specifically recommended raw baby carrots as great treats. My dog has been eating them for seven years, and is as healthy and active as a pup.

My vet told me that a varied diet is actually good for the dog-- that they don't always get all of the vitamins and nutrients that they need from dog food. A human could live on enriched bread alone, but wouldn't be as healthy as one who eats vegetables and meats as well. The way she put it is that dogs in the wild get vegetation from the stomachs of their pray and from the occasional nibble on greenery. Domestic dogs' food is often made of just animal products with added vitamins, some of which the dog cannot digest properly, and just get passed through the system. (Not to mention the nastiness and chemicals that are in commercial dog food-- but that's another thread.)

She did tell me to avoid bones, just because of the potential for intestinal punctures and bowel obstructions, but that if the dog accidently got ahold of one, not to panic unless I saw she was having problems.

As for the compressed veggie bones, she only gets one of them about once a month, if that. They're designed to completely disolve in the dog's stomach. (I actually tested this with a glass of water. It melted away.)
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