The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to buy commercial dog bones after several reports of illness and death of pets, the agency said in a notice this month.
The FDA said it received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to “bone treats” – the processed and packaged dog treats sometimes described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones” that are different from the uncooked butcher-type bones.
“The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings,” the FDA said.
“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.
Some of the symptoms of bad bone treats include blockage in the digestive tract, choking, cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding from the rectum and death.
In all, the FDA has received reports from 90 dogs as some reports included more than one dog. Of the 90 dogs affected, 15 have died.
In addition to bone treats, the FDA warned against giving chicken bones to dogs, which can cause injury and choking.
“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” Stamper said. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”