The Bare “Bone” Facts

By August 23, 2013 Uncategorized

Our Sudbury Animal Hospital Advises SAY NO TO BONES!

We all remember the old nursery rhyme that was sung to us when we were children:

This Old Man, he played one

He played knick knack on his thumb.

With a knick, knack, paddy whack


This old man came rolling home.

Well, guess what folks, Mother Goose gave bad advice!!  Our Sudbury Animal Hospital wants pet parents to know that bones are unsafe for all dogs.

At the Barrydowne Animal Hospital we have seen injuries as a result of furry family members chowing down on a bone.  First, chewing on bones may cause cracked and/or broken teeth.  If left untreated, this may lead to root infections and abscesses, often resulting in the extraction of the damaged tooth while under general anesthetic.  Everyone knows that a sore tooth can be unbearable!!

If the bone breaks or splinters the sharp edges may slice up the inside of your furry friend’s mouth and cause injury to the tongue and gums.  You, yourself, know how sore it feels when you bite the inside of your cheek or your tongue. Now imagine how painful it would be to have major damage done in your mouth.

If a bone fragment is swallowed problems can occur all the way from the esophagus right through to the rectum. Our Sudbury Animal Hospital states that the bone piece may become lodged in the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. This can cause your pet to gag as he tries to bring up the fragment.  Your furry family member will likely be unable to dislodge it on his own which means you will be seeing us here at our clinic.

We have all accidentally inhaled a small amount of food into our trachea or windpipe as we have been eating. It is not only painful but frightening knowing that we are having difficulty breathing. Now think how terrifying this must be for your furry friend as he does not understand what is happening. If difficulty breathing occurs, Our Sudbury Animal Hospital wants you to seek veterinary care immediately.

If, by some chance, the bone fragment is able to make its way to the stomach unhindered, not only can the fragment cause punctures along the way but it may also be too large to pass through into the intestines.  This creates an obstruction which is not only very painful but is also life threatening for your pet.  Most often major surgery is required in order to remove the bone and that can become a serious blow to your pocketbook.

Again, if the bone fragment reaches the intestinal tract, Our Sudbury Animal Hospital states that the chance of perforation and damage to the lining of the intestines is still very much a danger.  Also, the risk of blockage is still very real and the possibility of major surgery may be the only option.

If your pet does manage to pass the bone fragment damage can occur in the rectum, especially if your pet is straining to have a bowel movement. Infection may also occur if the bone fragments have punctured the stomach or intestinal tract. If this infection is left untreated it can result in death.  And never, ever feed your pet cooked bones.  Once cooked, the bones become brittle and will splinter far easier than raw bones.

Many people will try to justify giving bones to their dogs by saying that wild members of the canine family eat bones all the time and they don’t appear to have any adverse effects. However, the wild members of the dog family are rarely just munching down only on bones.  More often than not they are feeding on the entire carcass of the animal, ingesting skin and fur which may aid in protecting the digestive tract from injuries.  Wild animals also need a higher amount of fat and calories in order to survive. The marrow within the bone is high in calories, much more than most domestic pets need in their diet.  Our Sudbury Animal Hospital knows that feeding a healthy well formulated pet food recommended by your veterinarian is always the best and safest choice for your four legged family member.

The argument is also presented which states that the chewing action involved in eating a bone helps to keep your pet’s teeth pearly white.  There are safer and easier ways to keep your furry friend picture perfect.  A good dental formula food may be advised by your veterinarian as well as safe chew toy alternatives. Daily brushing is also recommended to keep your pet’s mouth clean and shiny.

You may just be saving your dog’s life by saying “No to Bones”.

For more information please don’t hesitate to call Our Sudbury Animal Hospital, The Barrydowne Animal Hospital at 705-566-4243 or visit our website at or our Facebook page at

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