The Danger of Chicken Bones

konachicken.jpgWarning: The advice provided in this blog is NOT be substituted for proper veterinarian treatment. If you feel your dog’s life might be in danger, take them into the vet’s office immediately.

One day, Kona is going to give me a heart attack.

A few weeks ago, we put the little monster in his crate while we went out for the evening. We came home and found him outside of his kennel, running around like a mad dog. I went to go check his kennel and noticed that both gates were closed and locked.

My first instinct was to check the apartment for any possible damage. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a mess in sight! He didn’t have any potty accidents or chew anything up. He did, however, manage to get into the garbage can where we had a tossed out a couple of chicken bones. As soon as I noticed they were missing, I immediately started to panic.

My mom has always warned me about giving dogs chicken bones. When she was a little girl, her neighbor’s dog died from choking on a drumstick, so she has always made it very clear to me and my brother that we should NEVER feed our dog leftover bones. I’ve also read dozens of horror stories about how chicken bones can splinter inside of a dog’s stomach and cut into their intestines. These stories alone were enough to give me nightmares.

So anyways, right after I realized Kona had gotten into the bones I called the animal hospital. It was really close to midnight so I had to call the emergency vet instead of our regular vet’s office. I explained the situation to the vet technician and he asked me how big my dog was and how many bones he ate. I told him Kona was about 70 lbs and he ate a drumstick, a wing and thigh. Then he asked me if my dog was acting strange. I quickly explained to him that he is ALWAYS acting strange, and that it’s when he’s normal that scares me.

It was an inappropriate time to make a joke, I know, but I couldn’t help it. Kona wasn’t acting sick AT ALL! In fact, I could barely hear what the guy was saying because the little brat was too busy bouncing around the room with his toys and barking at me because he wanted to play. Anyways, the vet tech said that the best advice he could give me would be to “wait and see” what happens, or if I was really paranoid (which of course I was) I could bring him in and they would give him something to make him throw up.

I agonized over these two choices for over an hour. While I wanted to do what was best for Kona, I really couldn’t understand how making him vomit would make him feel better. So I turned to the Internet. First, I posted about our problem on the boxer forum we belong to. I found an old thread that someone had posted about chicken bones, which suggested feeding bread. This is supposed to help protect their stomachs from being cut by any sharp edges. I called my boyfriend to tell him what happened and he brought home a big loaf of sandwich bread.

Kona was on cloud nine! He gobbled down that bread like one of those crazy ducks from the lake! Six slices of bread and 30 minutes later, his tummy was completely full and he was knocked out on our bed.

Of course I couldn’t sleep a wink. I called two of my friends to see if they had any advice. I’m pretty sure both of them thought I was freakin nuts for calling them so late about something so silly, but they were both very understanding. They calmed me down and suggested I keep an eye on him before rushing him over to the vet’s office.

I agreed and went back online to see if there were any other remedies I could use to help him. Surprisingly there were TONS of other pet owners who have experienced the same problem. In the interest of saving time, here is a short description of the information we collected:

First and foremost:

~If your dog is vomiting, acting lethargic or you notice blood in their stools, TAKE THEM INTO THE VET RIGHT AWAY!

~If however, they seem to be acting normal and are eating regularly, try feeding them some boiled rice or bread to coat their stomachs.

~For most dogs, the bones will naturally pass through their system within 48 hours.

~Be sure to keep a very close eye on them during the first 24 hours. If you notice any unusual behavior (pacing, restlessness or nausea) take them to the vet right away.

~After 48 hours has passed, don’t panic if you don’t see any bone fragments in their stools. In most cases, this means that the dog was able to chew the bones enough to have them pass through their system normally.

Of course this is all just supplemental information and should NOT be taken in place of professional veterinarian treatment. While the Internet is a great tool to help in situations such as these, it is no substitute for proper veterinarian care.

It’s been three weeks since Kona gobbled down those chicken bones and I am proud to say that he is happy, healthy and not an ounce smarter.

The day after we gave him all that bread he pooped like eight times, but that was to be expected. After all, he is full of … um, let’s just say “spunk.”

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