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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16267
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 3 year old English Mastiff ate a bone in a chicken thigh

Customer Question

My 3 year old English Mastiff ate a bone in a chicken thigh yesterday. She had diarrhea this morning but is eating and acting normally. I'm worried the bone will get stuck. Should I take her to my vet . Thank you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How many hours ago did she eat that bone?

Did she eat it whole or chew it to bits? Any sharp edges that we know about?

What did the diarrhea look like? Was she straining?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She ate the bone around 2pm yesterday. I didn't see her eat it. She stole the chicken thigh from kitchen counter. I assume she ate it whole. Diarrhea liked greenish brown and jelly like. She kept moving from spot to spot as she was going. Her gums look pink.she didn't tense up or moan when I pressed on her belly. She's napping normally and doesn't seem to be in any discomfort. I'm just worried.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I didn't see any blood in her stool.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

It is understandable that you are worried since when our dogs eat these kinds of items, we do always need to tread with care. The good news is that chicken bones can soften in the stomach’s acid and can potentially be passed without issue. That said, they can also cause blockage or traumatize the gut if there are sharp edges. And as I am sure you can appreciate, there is no way to predict which bone in which dog will cause bother.

Now a check with her vet is never a bad idea, as they can palpate her belly +/- xray to see where the bone is and if it will pass on its own. And if they find its already causing a blockage, then they can surgically remove it before it can cause any more trouble.

Still, if this was eaten hours ago and she has only had loose stool and no other adverse signs, you can choose to monitor and use supportive care to encourage her to pass this. If you choose to do so, you can put her on small meals of bland food (ie cooked rice with boiled chicken/white fish or scrambled egg) for the next few days. Whichever you choose, you consider adding a spoonful of canned pumpkin to the meals. The fiber in the pumpkin will further encourage any bone material to move through the GI. As well, cat hairball treatment or a GI lubricant (ie Latulose, Miralax, food grade mineral oil) can also be added to these meals to help it slip through.

While encouraging passage of this material, you do want to keep a close eye on her. Specifically, we need to keep an eye out for any belly tenderness or pain when you press on her stomach, pale gums, straining to pass feces, passing blood in vomit or stools, appetite loss, restlessness, or black feces. If you did see any of these; then those are all red flags of a possible blockage or trauma and would require her to be seen urgently by your vet for an exam +/- xray.

Overall, we do always have to tread with care in situations like this. So, at this stage and in this situation, we could certainly have her checked to see where the bone is in her GI. Or we could try the above steps to encourage this to pass while we keep a close eye on her. If we can do this for the next 48 hours and see no issue, then we'd suspect we are out of the woods and that she has either digested it without bother. Of course, any of those red flag signs and we’d need to have her seen and the bone addressed for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks very much.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Best wishes for you both,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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