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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5764
Experience:  DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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My dog ate chicken bones; do I need to take him to the vet?

Customer Question

My dog ate 5-6 chicken wing bones. What should I do? I fed him chicken and bread with peanut butter to soften any splinters. He won't eat any more (he is not a big eater).

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 4 years ago.

Hello -

How long ago did this happen? Did he chew up the bones or swallow them whole? How much does he weigh? Any vomiting?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He ate them 45 minutes ago. I think he ate most of them while, but chewed some. He weighs 85-90 pounds. No vomiting. No distress.

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information.
Do not feel bad! This happens very commonly. First off even though he ate them recently I would not recommend inducing vomiting or trying to get him to bring the chicken wings back up because if he did chew a part of one of the bones the sharp points could cause some serious damage to his esophagus id he vomited the wings up. The chicken bones will actually be digested very well in his stomach. The stomach acid for dogs is very strong and can digest bones like this typically in 24 hours or less therefore the risk of an obstruction in his intestines is also very rare and unlikely. Giving him bread is a very good idea and I typically recommend giving him at least 2 whole pieces every 8 hours for the first day. This is to protect his stomach from any damage in case there is a sharp point on the bones.
My biggest concern for him would be a digestive disturbance due to eating something that his intestinal tract is not used to. Because of this there are a couple of suggestions that I can give you to hopefully prevent any vomiting or diarrhea.
1) Hold him off food (other then the bread) for at least 12 hours. This will allow his stomach time to settle down. Water can be given free choice.
2) You can also give some pepcid AC to help with the stomach discomfort. This is very safe and virtually has no side effects. I would give him 20 mg every 24 hours. This medication usually comes in 10 mg per tablet, therefore you would give the 2 whole tablets every day. You can get this medication from a local drug or grocery store over the counter.
3) After 12 hours you can feed him a meal. I would recommend feeding him a bland diet to help with the vomiting/diarrhea. My recommendation would be to feed some boiled ground beef or boiled chicken breasts with cooked rice. Two parts rice to one part meat. Feed this until he is back to normal. This is very easy for him to digest and should help reduce inflammation in the stomach/intestines.
Overall most dogs do very well after eating chicken bones but hopefully these precautions will prevent any complications.
Hope this helps -please reply if you have any other questions.