Dogs love to chew on things and may sometimes choose the wrong thing to chew on. He may decide to chew on the doorframe’s woodwork, your shoes, and more. Some pet parents have turned to giving their dogs antlers, as these seem to keep their fur babies from chewing up other things. But what happens if a dog eats an antler?
Has your dog eaten an antler? Are you worried that the antler 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 gathered information about antlers and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What are Antlers?
Antlers are what you would imagine they are—these are the shed antlers that come from various animals. These are treated and used as chew treats for dogs. The antlers can come from several different animals, including:
- Elk: are soft and easier to chew.
- Reindeer: are not as common as elk antlers and they are hard to chew.
- Moose: can be softer than other types of antlers.
- Deer: are usually hard and more challenging to chew.
The antler material is a boney bit that grows on the animal’s head. These are all-natural antlers and can be great for dogs that love to chew. But what happens if a dog eats an antler?
Antlers & Dogs
There’s some disagreement on whether or not antlers are safe for dogs or not. Many experts say dogs may break their teeth when chewing antlers. This can lead to some major dental issues for dogs.
In addition, it is possible for a dog to eat a sharp piece of antler that could tear or puncture the lining of the digestive tract. In addition, it’s also possible for antlers to cause an intestinal blockage. This can be e life-threatening condition if left untreated.
In some cases, if your dog has swallowed a small piece of antler, if the piece is small enough, it may be digested or partially digested and come out in your dog’s poop. However, if you have any concerns or questions, it’s best to call your vet.
Symptoms of Antler Ingestion in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten an antler:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain & swelling
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment of Antler Ingestion in Dogs
The vet may first take x-rays of your dog’s digestive system. The images are done to show where the antler has become stuck in the digestive tract. Depending on where the antler is located, the vet may need to perform surgery to remove it. In addition, the vet will repair any damage the antler may have caused.
The prognosis is best for dogs who receive prompt medical treatment after eating an antler. In the future, you may want to ask your vet for advice on safe alternatives to giving your dog antlers. You’ll both be happier for it!