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Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
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Experience:  Veterinarian
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My big dog(70lb cattle dog) ate a large cooked knuckle bone.

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My big dog(70lb cattle dog) ate a large cooked knuckle bone. It was very big, too were I never thought he would have swallowed it. I gave it to him and walked outside 5 minutes later and he came up to me and was acting very badly. He was madly pacing around and sort of trying to sit like he was really uncomfortable. I realized at that point something was wrong and assumed he swallowed the whole bone. He then started to foam at the mouth, so I started freaking out because it looked like he was having trouble breathing and was getting him in the car to take to the emergency vet. A minute later he was fine, so I thought to wait a bit to see if he is okay. It has been about 1 hour and he fine and normal. So I am just keeping him next to me. But any advice, I am kind of worried about him because he behavior was very scary and I am certain he swallowed the whole bone.
Hi there,

Thank you for your question. My name isXXXXX and I am happy to be able to help you today. This sort of situation is always a concern for me as I have seen many dogs who have needed a bone removed from their stomach or intestines, as well as those who have nearly choked to death on bones. It is for this reason I generally tell clients to avoid bones (especially cooked ones). There are a few things that could have happened here. Perhaps your boy managed to chew off a piece of bone and perhaps he nearly choked on that when swallowing it, perhaps he DID manage to swallow the entire bone, or perhaps there is something else going on here entirely.

Continue to keep a close eye on your boy for the next couple of hours if you can stay awake with him. If he has indeed swallowed the bone, it is very unlikely this will pass through his GI tract. If this is the case, then he will likely begin to vomit, go off food and possible become constipated within the next few days. If this occurs, you will need to get your boy down to your regular Vet. Here they can carry out a full physical exam, palpate his abdomen and take some xrays to rule a bone foreign body in or out. Sometimes these obstructions can be removed via endoscope, however more often a full exploratory surgery is required. If you see any signs of him going off food, or vomiting in the next few days, do get him straight down to your local Vet for this reason.

For now, [lease keep a close eye on his mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows:

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if he is continuously panting throughout the night this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

If at any stage he seems to have a breathing issue, or starts coughing/choking, then get him straight down to your local ER Vet tonight won't you. It is better to be safe in these situations. I hope all of the above makes sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thanks.
I will stay awake tonight and watch, as tonight is my major concern that nothing else happens to him. And probably take him to the vet in the morning. He is a big stocky dog(not fat) with a really big jaw and I have seen him crack harc uncooked bones before so I am thinking he probably(hopefully)cracked it in half at least and did not swallow it whole. Since he will usually crack bones before eating them. However I won't be giving him any more after this incident. I thought he was going to die. It takes 8 minutes to get to the emergency vet. I gave him some bread and olive oil in a bowl thinking at least that might help to cushion the bone in his stomach?
Thanks for your reply.

Yes - hopefully he managed to chew the bone up a bit before swallowing it. The bread was a good idea. If there were any sharp pieces of bone, this will help to minimise any trauma the bone could potentially cause the stomach or intestine on it's way through.

Here's hoping he is absolutely fine over the next few days.

Keep me posted!

Kind Regards,

Dr E
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6478
Experience: Veterinarian
Pet Doc and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Pen,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Pet Doc
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Tucker is doing great!!! No problems!! He's eating, pooping, breathing, urinating, drinking, sleeping, playing like usual!! Thanks!
Thanks for the update Pen and I'm happy to hear all is well!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

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