Can Bird Bones Make a Dog Sick?

by Melodie Anne Coffman Google
    You're better off just giving him the meat rather than the whole drumstick.

    You're better off just giving him the meat rather than the whole drumstick.

    Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Bird bones are lightweight, pliable and hollow -- much different than tough marrow-filled beef bones. While bird bones are easy for your pooch to chew, they can cause a slew of problems in his digestive tract and make him very sick. Some people advocate that raw bones are fine and cooked bones are not suited for a dog to consume. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises feeding no bones of any kind, cooked or raw.

    What Happens

    If you’ve ever watched your furry friend eat at dinnertime, you’ve probably noticed that he tends to swallow things whole. Bird bones are no exception. Your barking buddy can gulp them down while they are completely intact, or swallow large fragments. These pieces can get stuck in his esophagus, potentially causing him to immediately choke.

    Further Problems

    If bone particles do make it down to your dog's digestive tract, more serious complications can occur. Sharp edges could tear the lining of his stomach or intestines, leading to severe pain and possible internal bleeding. Sometimes those tears can lead to bacterial infection of the abdomen, a condition known as peritonitis. If those pieces do keep moving through his digestive tract, they can get stuck, causing a blockage. When his intestines get backed up, he can become severely constipated, making him lethargic, unwilling to eat or drink, and even nauseated in some cases. All of these issues can become emergencies that result in a lengthy -- and costly -- hospital visit for your beloved canine.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

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