Should I Call The Vet If My Dog Ate Chicken Bones?
Sometimes you can take all the precautions in the world to keep your dog from eating something he shouldn’t. But when a dog really wants something, like chicken bones, he usually finds a way to get it!
So, what should you do if your dog eats chicken bones? Is it time to call the vet? The answer is it depends.
The Problem with Chicken Bones
Dogs have been eating bones and other things in the wild for thousands of years. Wild canines, such as wolves, eat almost every part of an animal. Stray domesticated dogs do the same—they eat what they can find, including bones. Some bones don’t pose a problem, but things can get dicey with chicken bones.
Raw chicken bones are usually safe for dogs. Raw bones are flexible; however, they can still be dangerous. For one thing, they may carry harmful bacteria, make a dog choke or create an intestinal blockage.
But cooked chicken bones are even worse. Chicken bones that have been cooked are more brittle. When a dog bites cooked chicken bones, small splinters can break off and cause problems. For instance, the sharp bits of bone can cause mouth or gum injuries, get stuck between teeth, and more. If the pieces are large enough, sharp bits of chicken bone may also puncture any location along the digestive tract, from the stomach to the intestines. They can also cause choking or intestinal blockage.
When to Call the Vet
If your dog has eaten chicken bones, the first thing you need to do is stay calm. Now, check to see if your dog is choking or not. Is he breathing OK? Is he gagging or wheezing? If so, call the vet immediately.
For a dog that’s not choking, it’s essential to monitor his condition for the next 72 hours. Watch for these symptoms:
- Abdominal pain & swelling
- Lack of appetite
- Bloody stool
If you notice any of these symptoms, call the vet immediately.
During the 72 hours you’re monitoring your dog, he may not have any symptoms. However, you’ll need to check his poop during this time. Look to see if any of the bones he ate have come out. If not, it’s a good idea to take your fur baby to be checked by the vet. You want to make sure the bones are not stuck in the dog’s throat or intestines.
The good news is that dogs who receive prompt treatment have the best chance of making a full recovery after eating chicken bones!