My Dog Ate Mussel Shells What Should I Do?

By Kyoko •  Updated: 06/08/21 •  3 min read
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Has your dog eaten mussel shells? Are you worried the mussel shells can make your dog sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

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In this article, we’ll take a look at mussels and their shells and whether not the shells can be harmful to your dog. Let’s get started.

What are Mussels?

Mussels are freshwater animals that are similar to clams in the ocean. Mussels are also called freshwater clams, naiads, and unionids. These critters usually attach themselves to rocks and then filter water throughout the day. It’s said one mussel is able to filter about 8 gallons of water a day.

Mussels have a hard outer shell, just like claims, with a soft body inside. They also have a “foot” that’s used to propel them around. However, some mussels do stay attached to rocks and stay in one place. What’s more, they can live as long as 100 years!

When it comes to eating, many people find freshwater mussels as delicious as their saltwater cousins. Mussels are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including steamed, sauteed, baked, or even grilled. Some people also like to eat them raw, though this isn’t recommended, as they can carry parasites and pathogens.

When it comes to dogs, mussels are safe as long as they’re cooked. Dogs should only eat these in moderation, however. But what about mussel shells? Can mussel shells make dogs sick?

Mussel Shells & Dogs

Dogs and mussel shells should not mix. Mussel shells are very hard and brittle. If a dog decides to chew on the shell, it’s possible the shell could fracture and splinter into small pieces. These pieces are sharp and could cause some major issues inside your dog.

For instance, sharp pieces of muscle shell could become lodged in a dog’s throat. This can lead to choking. In addition, the sharp pieces could cause cuts and wounds inside a dog’s mouth.

In the digestive system, sharp bits of mussel shell could puncture the stomach lining or the intestines, causing a very dangerous, painful medical problem. The shells may also cause an intestinal obstruction.

For these reasons, never let your dog eat mussel shells. Accidents do happen, so be sure to watch out for any symptoms if your dog has a tendency to eat the shells.

If you know or suspect your dog has eaten one or more mussel shells, then call the vet immediately. They’ll be able to tell you how to proceed and whether or not your fur baby needs to come in to be checked.

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Kyoko

Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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