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FDA Warns Owners Not to Give Dogs Bone Treats After 15 Dogs Die

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You'd think giving your pup a treat every now and again would be harmless, but according to the Food and Drug Administration, giving your dog what seems like an innocent treat can turn fatal, and fast.

The FDA has issued a warning advising dog owners to refrain from giving their pets bone treats after receiving 68 reports (affecting 90 dogs) of pet illness related to bone treats, including 15 deaths.

“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” Carmela Stamper, veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA explained.

What is a 'bone treat'?

"Bone treats” are defined by the FDA as “real bones that have been processed, sometimes flavored, and packaged for dogs.” This includes packaged treats that are labeled as “Ham Bones,” “Rib Bones,” Pork Femur Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones.” These packaged treats have been proven to cause gastrointestinal obstruction, internal bleeding, blocked airways, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition to physical problems, pet owners and veterinarians also reported product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats that splintered when chewed.

(Photo Credit: FDA)

The FDA also reminded owners not to treat their pets to an extra turkey leg or chicken thigh left over from dinner, as these bones are brittle and can break easily.

“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” Stamper added. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”

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