SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

April 18, 2014

Vet Connection: Is it OK to give a dog a bone?

We have all seen the cartoons and commercials depicting dogs burying bones and stashing them away for later. Unfortunately, most pet owners are completely unaware of the significant risks and problems that are associated with feeding dogs these treats. The situation has gotten so bad that even the FDA has warned consumers to avoid giving bones to their dogs.

Advocates of raw pet foods and other so-called “natural diets” claim that, given properly, bones are a great way to clean your pet’s teeth and provide an instinctive means of stress relief. Some even state that bones provide important nutrients and should be included in your pet’s daily routine.

So, is it OK to give a dog a bone?

Most veterinarians answer that question with a resounding “NO” for several reasons. One of the most common problems for a dog with regular access to bones is a fractured tooth.

Veterinarians will see unusual patterns of enamel wear, cracks in the teeth and even painful fractures of the canine teeth or large molars and premolars. Even if the fracture doesn’t look serious, the connection of the inside of the tooth with the outside environment can lead to abscesses that show up on the muzzle or under the eye. These conditions will require a veterinary dentist to extract the affected tooth or perform a root canal. Either of these procedures will also cause pain to the owner’s wallet, as root canals can start at between $700 and $1,000, and even extractions are rarely less than $500.

The American Veterinary Dental College’s website (avdc.org) states that dried natural bones are “too hard and do not mimic the effect of a dog tearing meat off a carcass.”

Another common problem seen with dogs that chew on bones is an obstruction of the digestive tract. These treats can become lodged in the esophagus, the stomach or anywhere along the intestines. Blockages in any of these areas will require emergency surgery and several days of hospitalization. A typical exploratory surgery to remove an obstruction caused by a bone or bone fragments can exceed $2,000 or $3,000. Many times, the pet can be saved if the obstruction is caught early enough. Each day that passes while the pet is obstructed and unattended to, the risks of surgery increase and the chances for a positive outcome decline. That is why veterinarians prefer to see the dog that has been vomiting for one day rather than two or three days or longer.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

  • shakespeare Good cause The Bard comes alive on Misery Island Join Sea Station for its inaugural performance of "The Tempest Trials," a Shakespearean festival on Salem's Misery Island, on Saturday from noon to 4:15 p.m. The festival features actors of all ages participating

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Horoscope Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Your goals and current lifestyle need a little adjustment. Be receptive to new ideas, and make a change if you want to feel better about the direction you are heading in. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your leadership qualities

    July 24, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault Dear Abby: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy's ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman s

    July 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, July 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker