With dogs, accidents can easily happen, and it only takes a moment for a dangerous situation to occur. Many dogs will steal food from the counter or your plate when youre not looking… and many human foods can be hazardous to your pups health.
Even though you may give your dog raw bones to chew on as a treat, cooked bones (like chicken bones) are dangerous and should never be offered to a pet. So, if your dog has recently eaten a chicken bone, stay calm and follow these steps.
Wait — Why are chicken bones bad for dogs in the first place?
Unlike the large, hard bones many of us buy for our dogs to chew “chicken bones are very soft and often leave very sharp edges when broken,” Dr. Werber says. This is what makes them especially dangerous for dogs. If your dog ate a chicken bone, he “run[s] the risk of tearing the esophagus or tearing somewhere along the intestinal tract, ” Dr. Werber says. This is why it’s so important to make sure dogs don’t have access to chicken bones.
Make Sure Your Dog Isn’t Choking
The most immediate cause for concern would be if the chicken bone is lodged in your dogs airways. If your dog is choking, they may start retching or acting like theyre trying to cough something up. They may also pace back and forth, roll around on the ground, or paw at their mouth.
Unfortunately, if their airway is completely blocked, they wont be able to make any noise at all, so youll have to pay extra close attention to their body language. If your dog is choking, dont wait to call your vet. You need to take immediate action.
First, check inside your dogs mouth to see if you can remove whatever object is lodged in their throat. If youre not able to remove the object, your next option is to use the Heimlich maneuver, just like with a person. There are two different ways to perform this maneuver, depending on the size of your dog. There is an abdominal compression technique for medium to large-sized dogs and a chest thrust technique for small dogs. Both techniques are very simple.
My Dog JUST Ate A Chicken Bone – What Happens Now?
I would recommend that you make your vet aware and listen to their advice; they are then prepared to provide the best care in the event of an emergency or any deterioration.
You will probably have heard that in some cases where dogs have eaten things that they shouldn’t – chocolate or other toxic items, for example, the vet can give medications to make them vomit. However, in the case of chicken bones this is not advised (and do NOT be tempted to try and do this yourself at home, it is incredibly dangerous). The reason we don’t make dogs vomit in these cases is that we don’t know whether the chicken bones were chewed or broken when swallowed and any sharp edges to the bone could cause disastrous damage on the way back up from the stomach.
In a medium-large sized dog with no health concerns my usual advice would be as follows:
If your dog shows any of the following signs you must contact your vet as a matter of urgency:
In any dog that is particularly old or young, has any health concerns, or is on medications you must discuss with your vet.
Your vet may talk about X-rays with you – the benefit of these depends on timing and each individual situation. If your dog is showing signs that are consistent with a blockage then x-rays are used to help diagnose this and to try and determine the location of any bones within the digestive tract. If your dog has just eaten the bone/bones and is showing no adverse effects there is often little benefit to an X-ray as it is simply likely to confirm the presence of bones in your dog’s stomach but cannot give you peace of mind or any indication of whether issues will develop over the following few days. In dogs that are coughing or retching after eating, x-rays are useful to check whether bones are wedged in the throat or further down the esophagus.Ask a Vet In Real Time!
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