Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rawhide Bones...Yay Or Nay

Last week, during a conversation with friends (and proud pet parents), the topic of rawhide bones came up. I had asked if they gave their furbaby rawhide.  Their answer was a quick and firm no. In late spring of this year, their furbaby became sick on the overnight with blood speckled vomit and melena.  After an emergency visit to the veterinarian, tests, x-rays, medicine and fluid treatment, it was determined there was a mild blockage in the intestine.

The next 24 hours were critical. If the blockage didn't pass or the symptoms progressed, their furbaby would require surgery.  As each hour passed, things improved. The vomiting ceased, the melena passed, his appetite returned and it appeared he was on the road to recovery.  Within 72 hours, he had made a full recovery.

During the initial visit, the veterinarian had asked a slew of questions about diet, toys, outside activities, etc. She was a little stumped as nothing out of the ordinary had occurred like ingesting a foreign object or stick chewing.  Then, she asked, "Do you give him rawhide?"  The answer was yes.  Once a week they gave their dog a small rawhide treat and one had been given a day or so prior to the blockage. Bingo!

There's a lot of controversy surrounding rawhide treats.  Are they safe? Should you opt for rawhide alternatives? Some pet parents give 'em as treats with no issues while others have experienced problems.

While there are benefits to rawhide treats, there's also risks.  For more information, check out Rawhide: Good or Bad for Your Dog, Rawhide: Top 5 FAQs, and Rawhide: Hot to Choose.

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