Gorgeous old boy Toby is everyone’s friend, so we weren’t surprised to learn his owner’s grandson had bought him a present when he dropped by one evening.
He gave Toby a large bone he had got from a pet shop, thinking it would be the perfect gift for a dog that enjoys his food. As the bone was sold as food for dogs, Toby’s owners thought nothing as giving their beloved pet it as a tasty treat.
But soon after chowing down on the bone, Toby began coughing as some bits of the bone became stuck in his throat. This passed, however, and he settled down for the night.
The following morning the 11-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier was out of sorts. He hadn’t been able to go to the toilet and seemed to be in pain, so his owner brought him straight to our Hammersmith animal hospital to be checked over.
Our vets gave Toby a thorough examination and ran some tests.
More than he could chew
Tracey Parnell, a Veterinary Nurse at Blue Cross animal hospital in Hammersmith, West London, said: “An X-ray showed Toby was very constipated from the density of the bone fragments, so we admitted him to the hospital so we could monitor him closely.”
We gave Toby pain relief and laxatives to help make him more comfortable.
Tracey added: “Thankfully, Toby was able to pass the bones without suffering any internal injuries.
“Large chunks of bone can cause life threatening blockages to a dog’s airway and gut. Cooked bones splinter easily and can also cause potentially-fatal punctures and tears as they pass through the body.”
Toby has been discharged from hospital and is now back home in the care of his very relieved owners.
Following Toby’s nightmare, Blue Cross is issuing a warning to pet owners to do their research and make sure the food and treats they give their pets are suitable for their species.
Warning to pet owners over pet shop bones
Tracey said: “Always supervise your dog when you give them a chew, and remove it if the chew begins to splinter or your dog shows any sign of distress.”
Becky Thwaites, Blue Cross Public Affairs Manager, said: “Some pet shops do give information about how to feed treats to dogs safely, but we would like to see all pet shops doing this to help educate the pet-owning public.”