It’s an age-old saying ‘give a dog a bone’, but now vets are advising people against it. Senior vet Cheryl Driskell is urgently warning pet owners to stop giving their dogs bones, after a puppy got her jaw stuck in one. Black Labrador Jess was left in serious distress as owner Ben Prince, from East Yorkshire, struggled to free the bone.
But a dash to the vets saved the day for the panicking pup, just in time to celebrate her first birthday. Ben said: “Jess really loves chewing things and although balls are her favourite, she does get stuck into bones. We used to get them for her quite regularly and there had never been any problems.”
Ben explained: “She was playing with it in the kitchen when I put her to bed, and I didn’t think twice about leaving her with it.
“When I came down to feed her the next morning, she kept going to her bowl and running off. She usually wolfs it down and I couldn’t see the bone, so I didn’t appreciate the problem.
“But my heart sank when I got down to look and saw the bone was totally wrapped around her lower jaw.
“I don’t know how she got it on, and I thought I might just be able to slip it back off.
“But every time I tried, she was in quite a bit of distress. I called my dad, who looks after her when I’m at work, and we realised we just couldn’t budge it and needed help.”
Ben called Priory Vets, part of the My Family Vets network, and was told to bring Jess in straight away.
“The bone was stuck very tightly around Jess’s lower jaw,” said vet Cheryl.
“We placed her under general anaesthetic with the aim of drilling through the bone to remove it.
“But whilst she was under anaesthetic, our vet managed to slide the bone off from her jaw successfully without having to drill.
“Luckily in this case, there was no serious damage caused and Jess made a full recovery.”
Ben added: “Obviously we’ll never give her a bone like that again and I’d urge other owners to be careful, too.”
Can dogs eat bones?
Although a staple for dogs for generations, bones are a regular case of emergency admissions to pet practices.
Vets at My Family Vets are urgently warning owners against giving their pets any type of raw or cooked bone.
Cheryl said: “We strongly advise against feeding bones to your pets as they can cause life-threatening obstructions if ingested and small pieces can be found stuck in the mouth.”
Cooked bones can become lodged in the stomach or intestines. In many cases, surgery is required and occasionally the blockage can be fatal.