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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16927
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 75 pound red heeler swallowed a ham steak bone about the

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My 75 pound red heeler swallowed a ham steak bone about the size of a half dollar whole. What can I do? She is NOT having troubles breathing so I'm not sure what home remedies I can do for her
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Dog
JA: OK. The Expert will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** she is about 6 years old
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Auburn
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: No

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

I’m sorry to hear that your pup Auburn swallowed a ham steak bone. Unfortunately these can splinter, and that can lead to a perforation of the intestines, but it sounds like so far she is doing relatively well.

While I understand that getting that bone out would be nice I do not recommend inducing vomiting in cases where dogs eat sharp objects like bones. The chances of tearing her esophagus or stomach as it contracts to force the bone out is much too high.

I hope she at least chewed a little before she swallowed as that will make passage a little easier.

In this case we need to try and hope that we can get the bone pieces to pass through her gastrointestinal tract safely. And that her stomach acid helps us by dissolving the fragments.
If she just did this today I recommend starting with feeding her a Vaseline (or any generic, unscented, petroleum jelly) sandwich. Take a slice of whole wheat bread, slather with vaseline as you would peanut butter on a slice of bread, cover with a second slice. Feed it to her bite sized piece by piece or she will make a huge vaseline mess. This adds fiber and hopefully makes the pieces slip rather than catch.

For the next few days, until all of the bone pieces pass, she can be be fed a bland diet with lots of fiber added in small meals several times a day, 4 to 6 meals is ideal. We do this so the bone pieces are surrounded and the gut isn't irritated anymore contracting on just bone.
A homemade diet for this is 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger or boiled, white, skinless chicken, all fats drained off the meat, and 2/3 boiled, plain, white rice. Add 2-3 tablespoons of canned pumpkin, (not pie filling, just pumpkin), to each meal for fiber.
You'll need to check her stools frequently for bone pieces in the next few days.

Signs that things aren't going well, and she needs an immediate veterinary visit, are vomiting, a tense painful belly, lack of an appetite, pure blood stools, a fever (more than 103.5F rectally) and lethargy. If it doubt at all that things aren't going well it is always best to have her checked.
Once the pieces are all passed (usually within 4 days or so) and she's still feeling well then start mixing in her regular food, adding a little more regular and less bland at each meal. It should take a week to get her converted back to regular food.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you unfortunately she did not chew it at all. I caught her with it as she took it off the table and once she saw me she swallowed it while. That's why I'm so worried but just started a job less than a week ago so I don't have the money to take her in to her vet

I'm sorry to hear that she didn't chew it.

She's a big girl so perhaps between the petroleum jelly sandwich and lots of fiber (pumpkin) you can get this through her without causing an obstruction.

At this point she seems comfortable, and hopefully will remain so.

Dr. Kara and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you so much!!

You are very welcome, I will cross my fingers this works for your pup.