My Dog Ate a Rawhide Bone: Dangers and Signs of Trouble
What Is a Rawhide Bone?
Rawhide bones basically consist of the inner part of the hide of a bovine livestock. Rawhide bones are typically sold in pet stores as chew treats, and they may come in different shapes and sizes. Rolls, twists, sticks, braids, or hand-tied bones are just a few examples.
Advertised for scraping away plaque, controlling the build-up of tartar, massaging gums, diminishing bad breath, and entertaining the dog for hours, there are concealed risks all pet owners must be aware of when purchasing these apparently innocuous dental chews.
Signs a Dog May Have Swallowed Rawhide
Once a large piece of rawhide bone makes it through the dog's digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, and intestines), it can become lodged and is unable to pass, ultimately causing a blockage. The symptoms may vary from dog to dog, depending on the location of the obstruction.
Trachea: The first place the swallowed rawhide may get stuck is in the dog's trachea (windpipe). If this is the case, you will notice your dog in distress, choking and drooling and often frantically attempting to remove the stuck piece with its paws. This is a life-threatening condition and you should seek immediate emergency treatment.
Esophagus: Lower down the road, the rawhide may lodge in the dog's esophagus (basically, the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach), causing drooling and regurgitation shortly after eating. When regurgitation takes place, the dog will bring back up undigested food in large pieces, often in an oblong tubular shape.
Stomach and Intestines: Next, the swallowed rawhide may get lodged in the stomach, in the curvy areas of the intestine. Vomiting, loss of appetite, and possibly diarrhea are a few symptoms affected dogs will experience. They may also suffer from abdominal pain, assume a hunched-up position, and strain to defecate.
Symptoms suggesting an intestinal blockage should not be ignored. In some worst-case scenarios, the swallowed rawhide may cause a hole to develop at the blockage site, causing a life-threatening infection known as ''peritonitis.''
How to Prevent Future Problems
Problems mainly seem to arise when dogs gulp down the rawhide chews in large pieces or even whole. This is why supervising a dog when eating a rawhide is a must and why it is very important to select the most appropriate rawhide chews for the dog's size and weight.
If the rawhide gets small enough that it can be swallowed, it should be removed to prevent problems, explains Debra Primovic, a veterinarian who writes for Petplace.com. Dog owners must also keep in mind that risks can never be completely eliminated. Sometimes, even with the closest monitoring, trouble may still occur when choosing to offer rawhide bones to a dog.
Do you feed your dogs bones?
For Further Reading
- How to Stop a Dog From Eating Fast
A dog eating fast is not only a bad habit, but also a cause for concern since it may lead to several health problems. If you own a dog that wolfs down its food as soon as you put it down, be assured there are ways to address this problem and calm...
- Symptoms of intestinal blockage in dogs
Learn the warning symptoms of an intestinal blockage in dogs and when to see the vet. Ask questions and post comments about your dog's intestinal blockage.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
My puppy swallowed a chunk of rawhide before I could retrieve it from her and she now has very runny stools, will this break down and pass?
Unfortunately, there are no sure answers to a question as such. The piece of rawhide may be flexible enough and get broke down by the intestinal tract enough to pass (it can take 3-5 days). It may not. Only your vet can tell by taking x-rays and seeing if it's stuck. The diarrhea may be gastritis from the gut being challenged with all this.Helpful 50
Can I do the Heimlich maneuver or reach a finger in to get a rawhide bone out of my dog? She is a Yorkie Jack Russell mix, and all I have I love her and what can I do?
If your dog can breathe, but seems uncomfortable as if it's stuck somewhere, she should be taken to an emergency clinic immediately. Your dog should be evaluated by a vet, so the best method for removing it is determined. If the object is stuck in the esophagus, with the Heimlich maneuver, you may risk hurting the dog, make the object harder to retrieve or risk getting bitten.Helpful 16
We gave my puppy a small rawhide bone to chew on and has been counting ever since then. Will she eventually pass it?
If your pup is choking, it is very important to immediately see the vet. If her gums are nice and pink, and her respiratory rate is normal and she just happens to have some coughing, you can try to give a small amount of honey to sooth her irritated throat. Make sure it's not sugar-free honey with xylitol which is toxic to dogs! If you think she may have some particles stuck in the throat, you can try to feed her a few pieces of bread and then offering water in hopes of pushing any residual pieces left in the larynx through. You can try to repeat again a little later if the coughing persists, but see your vet if she's struggling to breathe or develops other worrisome signs.Helpful 14