Packaged Dog Bones Could Put Your Pet At Risk

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Dogs love bones. But two local families say a packaged bone they bought at a large discount store, nearly killed their beloved pets.

Lisa Nickerson of Onset gave her dog, Nala, a Real Ham Bone by Dynamic Pet Products back in March.She says within hours her dog got violently ill and was very sick for more than a week.

“Every day I thought I was going to lose her,” she said. “I was crying every day.  I missed work. It was awful,” she said.

Rachel Fortier of Rochester, New Hampshire thought she too was watching her dog, Raja, die after giving her the same bone. Raja ended up at a veterinary hospital for a week.

“I was devastated at the thought of not being able to take her home,” Fortier said.

Both women say they were shocked when they read the label after their dogs got sick.  It says to remove the bone if it splinters or breaks. It also says bones are to be chewed over several sittings, not eaten.

“I don’t know any dogs that do that,” Nickerson said.

Dr. John de Jong of Newton Animal Hospital didn’t treat Raja, but agreed to look at her x-rays. He pointed out several block-like images and explained it was bowel material that was impacted in the dog’s system and making her very sick.

“These small little pieces of bone are in these large pieces of bowel matter,” he said, pointing to bone fragments on the image. According to de Jong, it is usually not a great idea do give a dog a bone.

The Food and Drug Administration has a similar warning on its website:

Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.”

That leaves Nickerson and Fortier wondering why these bones are for sale in the first place.

“I assumed that because it’s packaged and you buy it at major stores that it would be safe,” she said.

It is a mistake that many dog owners have made with this product. There is even a petition, signed by thousands of people, urging the company to take the product off the market.

Both Nickerson and Fortier feel blessed that after more than a week of suffering their dogs survived.  But they both say it was a close call.

“The thought didn’t even occur to me that her consuming it once would be a life or death decision,” Fortier said.

On its website, the company says pet owners assume all liability associated with the use of the product.

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