A nice slice of cooked pork is a great treat for dogs. But what if my dog ate a pork bone?
Whether cooked or raw, pork bones should never be given to dogs. Unless ground into a fine powder, pork bones can pose life-threatening risks to your pet.In this post, we discuss these risks together with steps you should take in case your dog ate a pork bone. Remember that these are only suggestions from a pet owner and not a substitute for professional veterinary advice.
Are pork bones dangerous for dogs?
While dogs are known for their stereotypical love for bones, it’s not a safe choice for a snack. Bones will splinter when chewed, which is likely to happen among dogs.
Unfortunately, your dog will surely try to swallow small bone splinters, which is where the problem starts. Also, some dogs will try to swallow pork bones as a whole since it’s smaller than beef.
When the pork bone splinters and your dog tries to swallow it, the following risks may ensue:
Bone splinters are sharp, and it can easily lacerate the gums and tongue of your dog. These open wounds will become pathways to infections, not to mention that it will also bleed profusely.
Aside from that, chewing pork bones can break your dog’s teeth. This can lead to a slew of dental problems that will impact your pet’s ability to chew food.
Take note that these injuries will be much worse for small breeds. This is because their small mouths are susceptible to damage if they try to gnaw down a pork bone.
Dog owners also complain about excessive drooling whenever they give pork bone to their dogs. This can make your home smelly and your dog’s face filthy.
If there’s one life-threatening risk of ingesting pork bone among dogs, it would be a bowel obstruction. The small chunks of pork bone can accumulate inside your dog’s intestine and create a solid blockage.
These pieces can get lodged to the point that the intestines can’t push the bones on their own. And despite canine’s strong digestive juices, there’s no way for them to break down bones.
Due to this blockage, food won’t be able to take its due course inside your pet’s stomach. This can turn into a veterinary emergency within 24 to 48 hours.
Aside from blocking food and bowel movement, the accumulation of pork bones in your dog’s tummy will also restrict blood flow. This can lead to organ failure, which is extremely lethal.
Your dog likely suffers from bowel obstruction if it’s bloated, vomiting, hunching, and getting dehydrated. Diarrhea and loss of appetite are also general symptoms.
It’s important to seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect that a pork bone is obstructing your dog’s intestines. If the bone doesn’t pass on its own, the veterinarian will need to perform surgical removal of the bone splinters.
Pork bones can also cause stomach perforation in your dog when ingested in splinters. This is extremely life-threatening as the perforation will allow digestive fluids to leak outside the stomach.
Aside from that, toxic substances will enter your dog’s stomach. This can lead to sepsis, which is another life-threatening condition.Dogs suffering from stomach perforation will experience severe diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It can also trigger regurgitation, canine respiratory distress, and distention.
Take note that perforations can also occur in your dog’s intestines, colon, and esophagus. Technically, the pork bone splinter can damage every part of your dog’s digestive path.
Moreover, treatment for stomach perforation will mainly focus on keeping your dog’s condition stable. Once your dog is stable, the vet will proceed with surgery.
The surgical procedure is intended to remove the pork bone splinter. The vet will also close the perforations to prevent further infections from occurring.
Unlike the previous risks discussed above, canine pancreatitis occurs slowly as your dog regularly consumes pork bone marrow. This condition is also attributed to a diet filled with high-fat food, including bacon offcuts, sausages, and so on.
Depending on your pet’s overall diet, the onset of pancreatitis will occur within months. It will be much faster if you give your dog pork bones on a daily basis.
Take note that pancreatitis is a serious condition that can become life-threatening if not treated right away.
Old pork bones left lying around will introduce various bacteria to your dog’s digestive system. Some of which are E. coli and Salmonella, known to trigger adverse digestive upset.
Pair this with the high-fat content of pork bones, and your pet is bound to suffer from a bad case of canine gastroenteritis. Nevertheless, this will only happen if your dog consumes pork bones on a regular basis.
What should I do if my dog ate pork bones?
If your dog unintentionally consumed pork bones, you have to perform the following steps:
Observe your dog
The first thing you should do upon confirming the bone ingestion is to check your dog. Perform a physical examination of its mouth to see if there are injuries.
Also, you should observe your dog’s behavior. If it’s lethargic, hunching, and nauseous, you need to involve the vet in the situation. While trying to reach the vet, make sure that you remove any remaining pieces. Remember that dogs don’t know what’s bad for them, and they could keep munching on the bone.
Call the vet
If your dog exhibits adverse symptoms, you should call the vet as soon as possible. This is much so if your dog ingested large amounts of pork bone splinters.
It’s important to give as much information as possible to your dog’s vet. You should mention your dog’s breed, size, any lingering health problems, and the time when the bone was ingested.
All this information will help the veterinarian assist you in providing first aid. However, if your dog’s condition is getting worse by the minute, it’s wiser to rush the canine to the clinic.
Never induce vomiting
You should never induce vomiting if your dog ingested pork bone splinters. Unlike in poisoning, inducing vomiting with pork bone ingestion can lead to more problems.
The regurgitation of the bone splinters can cause more perforations in the intestines, stomach, and esophagus. Also, forcing your dog to vomit may lodge the bones in a more life-threatening manner.
It’s best to leave the bone alone and let the vet do the treatment. Most of the time, it will require an X-ray to see where the bone splinters are.
Can I still feed pork bones to my dog?
Pork bones are rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are beneficial for your dog. So if you wish to give bones to your dog, here are important reminders you should know:
- Grind it first. You should always grind pork bones before giving them to your dog. This way, there would be no splinters that could injure the dog, and absorption would be much faster.
- Give it sparingly. Since pork bone marrow is high in fat, you should only give it once a week. For dogs prone to gastroenteritis, once a month would be the safest.
- Deworm your dog regularly. Regular consumption of pork bones will also increase your dog’s risk of contracting worms. This is why you should deworm your adult dog once every quarter.
- Boil it to make broth. Instead of giving the bone to your dog, you can boil it to create a broth. You can add warm broth to your pet’s meal to improve its flavor and provide a punch of nutrients.
- Consult the vet. It’s also important to consult your dog’s vet before giving dog bones. The veterinarian can also advise you about the right bone to give your dog and the proper way of doing so.
How long will it take a dog to digest a pork bone?
Dogs cannot digest large bone splinters. While they can break down a small amount of bone components, there’s no way for your pet to digest the pork bone it ingested fully.
This is also the reason why intestinal blockages can occur if your canine swallowed pork bone splinters.
Overall, dogs can only digest soft bones from chicken, turkey, and lamb. But when it comes to large and stiff pork bones, it poses more risks than benefits.
How long will it take my dog to pass a pork bone?
It can take an adult dog around 8 to 12 hours to pass the bone it ingested. This is about the same period as to how long a dog takes to pass a squeaker.
But if your dog isn’t passing the pork bone, it probably got lodged on the stomach or intestines. You should bring your dog to the vet in this case, especially if your pet isn’t defecating as it should.
What would happen if my dog ate a pork bone? In some cases, your dog will pass it through stool.
However, there’s also a possibility that the bone can injure the digestive system. As a result, it can also lead to blockages that require immediate veterinary attention.
Due to these established risks, you should avoid giving whole pork bones to your dog. Grinding it or boiling it into a broth are much better methods.