FDA warns against 'bone treats' this holiday season - WNEM TV 5

FDA warns against 'bone treats' this holiday season

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Pet owners may want to think twice before stuffing their dog's stocking this Christmas. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they have received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to "bone treats.” They said these treats differ from uncooked butcher-type bones because they are processed and packaged for sale as dog treats.

Treats described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones” were listed in the reports, according to the FDA. The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.

“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,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA.

Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
  • Choking
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the rectum, and/or
  • Death. Approximately fifteen dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat

The FDA said the reports involved 90 dogs (some reports included more than one dog). They also received seven reports of product problems such as moldy-appearing bones or treats splintering when chewed.

Here are some tips to keep your dog safe:

  • Chicken bones and other bones from the kitchen table can cause injury when chewed by pets, too. So be careful to keep platters out of reach when you’re cooking or the family is eating.
  • Be careful what you put in the trash can. Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.

To report a problem with a pet food or treat, please visit FDA’s Web page. >>Click here<<

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