My Dog Ate A Ham Bone: What Should I do?

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When we are asked, “what is a dog’s favorite food?” The instant image that shows up in our minds automatically is a bone, that’s where fiction wins over reality. Bones are considered to be one of the various harmful things for dogs. Pet owners are often found to be guilty of feeding their dogs various kinds of bones. The ham bone that you gave your furry little friend on the occasion of thanksgiving or easter, is going to give you a lot to worry about. You must know the solution to My Dog Ate A Ham Bone.

This problem also depends on whether your dog has consumed a cooked or raw bone. Cooked bones can easily break down into various small fragments that are sharp and will not turn out to be good for your dog to ingest. In a scenario where your dog has eaten an entire ham bone, the life of your dog can be a major risk. You should observe your dog for a while and take it to the vet at the first sight of trouble.

What Happens When My Dog Ate A Ham Bone?

Bones are not completely bad for dogs. In fact, chewing on raw ham bones turns out to be beneficial for dogs. In what way? It is beneficial for their Dental health and digestion. It is very important to observe your dog with a dog bone, if you don’t it’ll soon be gone. 

Your dog can easily break down an entire ham bone in just a few minutes easily with its incisors and sharp canines. You cannot let your dog chew the bone, because it breaks down into small pieces of bone fragments that have the capacity to cause a lot of trouble to your dog’s organs. 

Keeping in mind how some dogs can easily swallow a piece of bone without noticing you have to make sure to supervise them with a bone.

Have you ever thought of what would happen if your dog swallowed a cooked bone? Here are some of the common risks in terms of eating cooked bones for dogs:

Mouth Wounds

Bones are solid, which is why for obvious reasons it requires a lot of strength to break them down. While your dog is aggressively chewing on the bone, there are chances of a few fragments causing cuts inside the mouth of your dog. Posing a risk of infection, some bits can even get stuck in their teeth or gums. 

Peritonitis

When something causes trouble in an organ in the abdomen area of your dog’s body, which includes the intestines or stomach inflammation of the lining around the abdominal cavity will occur. That inflammation is peritonitis. 

The chances of bone fragments causing perforation in the abdomen area are quite high when it comes to a dog consuming a ham bone. Peritonitis needs immediate surgery. Most of the dogs fail to make it through even after the surgery. Sometimes, dogs suddenly fall ill without showing any symptoms of peritonitis.

Perforation of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Fragments just as sharp as glass are formed after a dog eats a cooked bone and tries to break it down with its teeth. When your dog swallows these fragments they can easily make cuts in any of the organs in the gastrointestinal tract which then causes internal bleeding.

Ham bones are huge, and that’s how they can be broken down into hundreds and thousands of fragments which highly increases the risk of perforation. There’s a risk that some pieces can get stuck in the windpipe while the other pieces make their way out of the intestinal tract. If the bone fragments get stuck in a dog’s windpipe, they can suffocate.

Symptoms To Look For?

The 24 hours after your dog consumes a ham bone are the most important and crucial hours to their survival. A dog might show very vague or a few extremely significant symptoms during this period of time. In any of these two cases, you must be cautious and prepared to take your dog to the vet. 

A ham bone is larger than normal bones, which makes it even riskier to wait any longer. 

So the moment you identify any of these symptoms below, it is best to rush to the vet, before the risk of injury multiplies. 

Vomiting

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Normally, the first symptom to come after bone ingestion is vomiting. If your dog is puking, it’s because they are trying to get rid of the bone that is stuck in their esophagus or stomach since it cannot be digested. 

Not always the dog will be able to throw up pieces of bone, sometimes they keep on throwing up without letting out any fragments of bones. This says that there is a larger piece of bone blocked in their system and that is exactly what they are trying to get rid of. 

Even if your dog has managed to get rid of quite a lot of the pieces of bones, you must still contact your vet since there can be many more bone fragments in their body. 

Bloody or Very Dark Stools

The very fact that you see blood in your dog’s stools note as a bad sign always. Observing blood in your dogs stools simply means that they are going through internal bleeding due to the wounds in their rectum or intestines. A very dark maroon-ish or black appearance in their stools means that the blood has mixed with your dog’s feces. This also points out that the bleeding is somewhere in the intestinal tract or stomach. 

We advise you to visit the vet as soon as you come across any slight signs of dark stools, after your dog has eaten a ham bone.

Lethargy

Lethargy is a very visible indication of infection when it comes to bone ingestion. Bacterial infection can appear quite easily because the sharp bone fragments can cause wounds in any part of your furry little friends intestinal tract which will lead to lethargy. These infections make your dog’s body and muscles weak which affects the level of energy making them less active. Contact your vet immediately and do not let the infection become serious. 

Lack of Appetite

Lack of appetite

If you happen to notice your pet frantically drinking water, that’s a sign that there is something wrong. Lack of appetite can be because of wounds in the mouth or gums of your gum which are preventing them from eating. 

This is the clearest sign of something being wrong with your pet. Lack of appetite comes with a sign of various issues. But if this happens after your dog swallows a ham bone, it can mean that the bone is stuck in places that stop your dog from eating anything. 

Mouth Discomfort or Dental Problems

If your dog chews on a ham bone for way too much time, there are chances of a few slivers finding their way out to the teeth or gums of your dog. This will cause you terrible pain which again will prevent your dog from consuming food. 

Struggling to Defecate

When the ham bone is stuck in the intestinal tract of your dog, it will stop the feces from getting to the rectum. Your dog will feel like passing stools and will definitely try to, but will not be able to. 

If you notice your dog having a tough time excreting feces you should instantly understand that a bone is stuck in its intestine and needs to be taken care of quickly. 

Can dogs have ham bones? 

If you follow a specific set of rules, only then you can proceed to feed your dog ham bones. As mentioned earlier, at no cost should dogs be fed cooked bones. To be absolutely safe, here’s a tip, feed your dog bones after they consume a meal. Why? So they are not eager to gulp them down but instead just gnaw on them. 

Before making a choice for their diet, you should make sure to consider your dog’s last medical journey as well as the type of bone. If you feel dicey about what to do, instantly contact your vet. 

In conclusion, always make sure to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing what to feed your pet. Just ask yourself, is the diet that you have chosen to feed your furry companion right now the right choice or not?

Kristel is a writer for Cat Judo and an avid fan of every cat she sees. In fact, outside work, you can find her at home playing with her five cats, all of whom are rescued from the streets. There’s no doubt that if she sees another one in a box somewhere, she’s going to adopt it.

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