What Steps To Take When Your Dog Eats Chicken Bones

There's a good reason that cooked chicken, turkey, and duck bones aren't a good snack for your dog. Like all bird bones, these bones are hollow. Cooking the bones dries them out, making the already fragile bones more prone to splinter into multiple jagged edges. The bones can injure your dog's mouth, throat, or digestive organs. If you catch your pup with a mouthful of bones, the following guide can help you know what to do.

#1: Watch For Immediate Distress

Make sure that your dog isn't showing any immediate distress signs, such as choking, coughing, whimpering, or pawing at their face. If all looks well, remove any remaining bones and promptly dispose of them. You can then take a moment to look into your dog's mouth for any signs of bleeding. If you encounter distress symptoms, call an emergency vet. This is especially true for choking or coughing, which can indicate a stuck bone or a perforation in the throat.

#2: Smooth The Way

If your pup seems well, take a few moments to feed them some soft food. Store-bought white bread works well because it will have a cushioning effect in the stomach and digestive track, which can help prevent perforations from the jagged chicken bones.

#3: Keep A Sharp Eye Out

Your dog won't be in the clear until the bones have passed out of their system, which can take a couple of days. If you normally leave your dog home alone while you work, you should consider boarding your pup with a kennel or vet during your work hours so they can closely monitor your pet's condition. You will need to monitor your pet for any additional signs of distress:

  • Blood in the stool

  • Coughing up blood or bloody foam at the lips

  • Coughing or choking

  • Vomiting

  • Nervous, anxious behavior that is out of the ordinary

  • Failure or difficulty with elimination

  • Swollen stomach

  • Signs that indicate pain or discomfort

If you notice any of these signs, or if no bone fragments have turned up in your dog's feces, it is time to get them to an emergency vet. Your vet can then look for any signs of internal damage or blockage and begin the treatment necessary to save your dog's life. In most cases, the blockage can be removed or the perforation stitched closed so that it won't have a long-term effect on your pup's health. For more information about how to handle an emergency with your dog, consider contacting a professional like those at Northside Emergency Pet Clinic.