My puppy swallowed a bone. Should I worry? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-09-2009, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a 15 wk old puppy (retriever/aussie mix?) who swallowed a raw lamb chop bone. It was too big to swallow so I gave it to her to chew the yummy bits off and figured I would take it back in a couple of minutes. She wouldn't give it up and she always gives stuff up. I can take kibble right out of her mouth. I offered her some chicken and she swallowed the bone with difficulty and took the chicken. I was surprised and worried.

All of my internet searching has been completely conflicting. I have come to the conclusion that she will either digest it completely or need emergency surgery. She is drinking, peeing and playing but she does seem a bit "off". She seems to be more hyper and distracted than usual alternating with laying in her crate. Usually at this time of night she is calm and active.

At what point do I worry? How urgent would it be if there is a problem? Will I need to get up and check on her during the night? Is there anything I should be doing for her? Would someone without an anxiety disorder be this concerned?
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#2 of 11 Old 08-09-2009, 01:23 AM
 
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I feed my dog raw - bones included. Next time this happens, you can just let her have the whole bone (so long as it's raw). Eventually, she'd probably have chewed it down herself.

I wouldn't worry yet. An obstruction is not hard to diagnose - usually there are obvious signs: fever, lethargy, inability to poop, lack of appetite, vomiting.

I'm pretty sure hyper and distracted aren't symptoms. Don't worry - I'd probably check on her once during the night, simply because I'm cautious like that. But, otherwise, chances are high she'll just digest it.

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#3 of 11 Old 08-09-2009, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for such a sane and sensible reply! She is sleeping peacefully right now and I feel a little less concerned. I will keep an eye on her and think digestive thoughts...
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#4 of 11 Old 08-09-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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from what i've learned raw bones are okay for dogs, even chicken, but ANY cooked bone can be extremely dangerous.

glad she's settled down!
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#5 of 11 Old 08-09-2009, 06:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sailor View Post

I wouldn't worry yet. An obstruction is not hard to diagnose - usually there are obvious signs: fever, lethargy, inability to poop, lack of appetite, vomiting.

I'm pretty sure hyper and distracted aren't symptoms.
Wow, either you've been in practice as a DVM a LOT longer than I have, or you have the super psychic diagnosis power... I want me some of that! Obstructions can be very difficult to diagnose properly, especially when dealing with raw food items.

Hyperactivity and distraction, along with self isolation can be signs of pain. Every animal is going to react to pain a little differently, and hyperactivity is certainly within the range of reasonable behavior to expect.

It doesn't matter what the substance is, if a swallowed object is mechanically too large to pass through the GI tract, it will cause an obstruction.

Please monitor your dog closely and seek your vet's advice.

*I'm not your veterinarian, and this isn't medical advice*
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#6 of 11 Old 08-09-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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I'm not a vet, but I've worked in rescue for years. Maybe because we evaluate the dogs so thoroughly, an obstruction has always been easy to find in them. I don't think we've ever missed one. We've had some really weird cases of obstructions, but never due to any raw food. Mainly it's been strange household objects that make you wonder how the heck the dog even swallowed it.

I'm replying based on that experience. Obviously this is the internet, so I assume everyone takes advice with that in mind.

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#7 of 11 Old 08-10-2009, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do realize that what I am recieving here are opinions and are not a substitute for medical advice. What I was hoping for was a little perspective since I do tend toward unbridled anxiety. I got that. If I hadn't known she had swallowed a bone I would not have been concerned about her behavior. It is entirely possible she was feeling uncomfortable. Or my anxiety may have been bothering her. She wasn't showing obvious rush-me-to-the-vets symptoms. She was probably fine. Her behavior and appetite today seem normal. What she swallowed is digestable. She is probably fine. I will continue to monitor her and will take her to a vet if I become concerned. I will continue to be anxious until it has passed but I will try not to let my anxiety run the show.
Thank you to everyone for your replies.
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#8 of 11 Old 08-10-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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Chances are that the bone will get digested by the strong stomach acids, so don't expect to see it come out whole. You may see more firm/dry poop as a result as that is what normally happens when digesting bone. I would still keep an eye out for any signs of distress and bring her into the vet's if you see those.
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#9 of 11 Old 08-10-2009, 07:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
I'm not a vet, but I've worked in rescue for years. Maybe because we evaluate the dogs so thoroughly, an obstruction has always been easy to find in them. I don't think we've ever missed one. We've had some really weird cases of obstructions, but never due to any raw food. Mainly it's been strange household objects that make you wonder how the heck the dog even swallowed it.

I'm replying based on that experience. Obviously this is the internet, so I assume everyone takes advice with that in mind.
I shouldn't have assumed you were, but you seemed well informed. Obstructions are pretty difficult in the first 12 hours, before you see signs of distension and vomiting. They get easier the more critical the animal becomes, but the idea is to avoid damage to the GI that occurs when the obstruction sits more than 12 hours. Being able to get into the gut before then means you don't have to take any tissue, which makes the surgery go sooo much smoother.

We've had some weird ones this month, the worst was a dog who ate underwear... underwear that turned out NOT to belong to the wife. It was an awkward moment, but really it felt like the guy was enough of a sleaze that I didn't feel too bad.

As just a matter of trivia, while most dogs will digest a raw bone easily, that is not a blanket statement you would want to make, considering the implications. I make more money than I'd like to admit from dogs on raw diet needing surgery. Catching it early is tough, but makes you feel like a pro vet. =)
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#10 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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My cousin used to have a boxer - she went out of the country for a few weeks and her Mom was staying with the dog at home. He was really upset and started eating all of my cousin's pantyhose and thongs that he could find! He got really, really sick and they had to do surgery - afterwards when he was fine we could all kinda laugh - it was the oddest looking xray you have ever seen, stuffed full of thongs and pantyhose!

OP, hope your dog is doing fine. We also feed raw and bones are digested just fine. I'm sure there are always cases like Nicole is talking about, just as you will find bloat more often with kibble - but in general there are many people feeding their dogs a raw diet that includes whole bones with no problems. I'm sure many more than the vets even know - many of us feel we have done our research and don't plan to share how our dog is fed unless asked or necessary. I'm sorry, but while i love my vet, she has a front office full of science diet and I don't trust her judgement on proper dog diet.

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#11 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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What worries me more is she wouldn't give it up and in fact swallowed it whole rather then doing so. I would just keep an eye out for that-some dogs can't handle super high value treats like raw bones.

I have been feeding them to my dog for years with no issues. Her teeth and coat are great and she loves them.
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