You already know not to give your dog brittle turkey or chicken bones. But the FDA is also sending out a warning about store-bought bone treats they say have sickened or killed dozens of dogs.
The FDA says they’ve received 68 reports of illnesses related to the bone treats. There have also been around 15 deaths reported. The treats in the FDA report names bone treats described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones.”
The bone treats may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain preservatives, seasonings and smoke flavorings, according to the FDA.
"The problem is after the processing they can fragment, they are smaller, and so with the forces dog's jaws can put on these bones they can make sharp shards," said Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, a veterinarian at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital.
Veterinarians say those shards can cause choking, obstructions that require surgery, tear a dog's GI tract or cause cuts and wounds in their mouths or on the tonsils.
“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,” said veterinarian Carmela Stamper with the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.
Illnesses related to the bone treats that the FDA is looking into include:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
- Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
- Bleeding from the rectum, and/or
- Death. Approximately fifteen dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.