My Dog Ate A Chicken Leg What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 01/10/23 •  3 min read
Dog Mild Toxicity Level
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Dog Ate A Chicken Leg

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Dogs love to eat everything and anything! You may leave a plate of chicken unattended, and your dog sees it. You leave for only a few moments, and when you come back, your plate is empty! The dog is probably the culprit! But what happens if your dog eats a chicken leg?

Has your dog eaten a chicken leg? Are you worried the chicken leg will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

We’ve put together some information about chicken legs and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

What are Chicken Legs?

Chicken legs are just that—the legs of a chicken. These chicken parts are also sometimes called “drum sticks.” Chicken legs contain bones and dark meat that is tender, juicy, and tasty! This is a favorite part of the chicken for many people.

Chicken legs can be safe for humans; however, what about dogs? What happens if a dog eats a chicken leg?

Chicken Legs & Dogs

The good news is that dogs and their wild cousins (wolves) have been eating bones for thousands of years. When uncooked, chicken bones are pretty safe for dogs. They’re even included in some raw dog foods.

However, there can be a problem if the chicken legs have been cooked. The issue is that cooked chicken bones can become very brittle. When a dog chews or bites a cooked chicken leg, the bone could shatter into many sharp pieces. These pieces could cut the dog’s mouth, cut or puncture his esophagus, or cut and puncture any part of his digestive tract.

And if a dog eats several chicken legs, the bones can become lodged in the digestive system. This can cause an intestinal obstruction, which can be lethal.

Symptoms of Chicken Leg Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten chicken legs:

If you notice any of these (or other concerning symptoms), call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

Treatment of Chicken Leg Ingestion in Dogs

If your dog has developed puncture wounds or cuts in his mouth, the vet can treat these. And if your dog is choking, the vet will try to remove the bone from your dog’s throat. They may need to use an endoscope to remove the bones.

For dogs that have developed an intestinal blockage, the vet may have to perform emergency surgery. This is done to safely remove the blockage from the dog’s digestive tract.

The prognosis is best for dogs who receive prompt medical treatment after eating a chicken leg. In the future, it’s a good idea to keep all chicken and chicken bones out of your dog’s reach. Prevention is always the best medicine!

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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