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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21419
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 dog swallowed a spare rib bone whole. I was eating bbq spare ribs f

Customer Question

my dog swallowed a spare rib bone whole. I was eating bbq spare ribs from the grocery store and it slipped out of my hand. when I tried to get it he swallowed it whole
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
If your lad has eaten this whole this recently, I must say the best course of action would be to have him to his vet urgently. They can use their endoscope (a scope with a camera) to remove this directly from the stomach. And this is highly advisable because rib bones are one of the most troublesome that we end up having to remove surgically.
Now if that is not an option for any reason, then we would need to monitor your lad closely and try to help get this bone to pass the other way out of the GI. In regards ***** ***** flags of obstruction and GI damage that we need to monitor for, the major ones are restlessness, lethargy, vomiting with blood or coffee ground type material, inability to keep any food or water down, anorexia, pale gums, straining to pass feces or passage of black feces (digested blood). If you see these, then having him seen so his vet can palpate his belly +/- xray to see if it has caught would be best.
Further to this, we can try some supportive care to lessen the risk of this damaging his GI and getting caught. To start, since we have a possible sharp edged item lurking in the gut, we can take a few steps to reduce any damage caused by these pointy ends moving through the GI. To do this, I would suggest feeding him a "Vaseline sandwich". To make this, you just want to spread Vaseline (or cat hairball treatment) over a piece of whole wheat bread, slather and cover this with a second slice. This can then be hand fed to in pieces. The aim here is that the bread will coat the any sharp bits and bulk up what is being passed in the gut. In the case of the Vaseline, this will act as a lubricant to aid sliding these bits through the GI with hopefully minimal damage.
Further to this, we would then want to put him onto a light diet (ie cooked rice with boiled chicken/white fish or scrambled egg) for the next few days. Whichever you choose you can add a spoonful of pumpkin or all-bran as a fiber source to further encourage the bone to move through the GI. You can also add cat hairball treatment or a GI lubricant (ie Latulose, Miralax, food grade mineral oil) to these meals to help it slip through.
Overall, rib bones are always a major worry in our dogs because they so often can cause gut damage and blockage. Therefore, the best option would be to have the local vet scope his stomach and remove this before it can get into the GI. Otherwise, we would need to use the above with close monitoring to help it pass but plan to see his vet urgently if we did see any signs of trouble with this bone.
In this situation, just in case you do wish to see an emergency vet, you can check @
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?