The RSPCA is advising dog owners to buy only toys and bones that have been made specifically for dogs to chew.
The warning comes after life-saving surgery on a very ‘Lucky’ Staffie who swallowed one whole and got it stuck in his oesophagus.
Ten-year-old Lucky was rushed into RSPCA Finsbury Park Animal Hospital, in London, where senior clinician Áine Maguire said: “Lucky came into us as an emergency out-of-hours having swallowed a knuckle bone that afternoon. He was regurgitating and vomiting on arrival and our team took x-rays which confirmed the bone was lodged in his oesophagus.”
Vet Eleanor Myerscough and the nursing team used an endoscope (a camera pushed down the gastrointestinal tract) to dislodge the bone from its position in the oesophagus and into the stomach. The following day, surgeons Stan McCaskie and Sophia Keen operated and retrieved the bone from the Staffie’s stomach.
Áine added: “The quick actions of Lucky’s owner and the expertise of our hospital staff ensured that there was no long-term damage and, thankfully, he’s since made a full recovery.
“Lucky’s owner said he regularly fed him knuckle bones as a treat. Beef knuckle bones can be bought online or at most pet shops and are designed as long-lasting chews but they can also be dangerous. We would advise that owners are cautious about feeding them to their pets and that they are always supervised.”
“Dogs are highly motivated to chew objects as this helps to keep their teeth and gums in good condition, so most dogs find chewing bones rewarding and relaxing. It is important, however, that you make sure items that your dog chews are safe. We would advise buying toys or bones that have been specifically manufactured for your dog to chew.”