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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My dog swallowed a pork rib bone. How do I help him pass it

Resolved Question:

Male cocker spaniel. Approx. 27lbs. Stole a pork bone off the table about 3inches long. We were trying to get it from him and he swallowed it whole. Acting normally now, but I am concerned about him passing it or choking. What should I do for him. Called the vet and they said just wait. I'm nervous and afraid.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. K replied 9 years ago.
When did your dog swallow the bone?
Has he been eating and drinking normally?
Has he had any vomiting?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
ate the bone about 2 hours. Begging for treats and drinking water normally. Has not ate dog food, but that is pretty normal this time of night. He is running around playing. No vomiting.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 9 years ago.
Your dog certainly could just pass the bone. Three inches is pretty big and the bone may not be able to make it out of your dog's stomach. I have seen cases where an animal has had a bone (or other foreign body) in its stomach for months before it finally starts causing a problem and is then surgically removed. I do not think that waiting until the dog is having a problem from it is really wise.

If you think that he swallowed the bone whole, then you should not need to worry about any sharp edges poking and injuring his gut. If he did chew it up first, then this could be a problem. In the case that he did chew it up and fracture the bone, it would be good for you to feed him some white bread. This will help in that the bread will stick to the sharp points and decrease the chance of the points injuring the dogs intestinal tract.
If your dog shows no symptoms of obstruction (intractable vomiting, inappetance, lethargy, etc..) for the next 5 days, and you do not see the bone pass in his stool...then I would bring him into the vet for an examination and an abdominal X-ray. If the bone is still in his stomach in 5 days, then it is too large to pass through his system, and should be surgically removed before it has a chance to cause a problem.

I hope that this information is of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your dog. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K
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