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I just found out that my vet clinic has a website. You can check it out at :
http://www.whvma.com

There is a good article on it about giving bones to your dog. Since I don't know how long it will stay there, here it is :

Feeding Bones To Your Dog

It has become quite popular lately for clients to feed their pet dogs (and pet cats) a diet that is based on raw bones, or to give dogs bones to chew on. Much of the reason for this popularity lies with our desire to feed our pets a more natural type of diet. The advocates of this sort of diet hold the belief that feeding raw bones to dogs and cats will not cause any problems. But this is not always the case.

Two of the main problems that veterinarians see when dogs are fed raw bones are intestinal problems that range from digestive upsets all the way to intestinal obstruction, and broken teeth.

Digestive upsets will occur if the pet eats bones from a meat source that it is not used to, eats bones that are contaminated with bacteria, or eats bones that contain excessive fat. Bones that are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria can cause serious infections, and can also lead to environmental contamination, increasing the risk of infection to humans. Intestinal obstruction can occur if the dog swallows large fragments of bone which then pass out of the stomach and into the small intestines where they can become stuck. This can cause a life-threatening situation that requires emergency surgery. Bones that are cooked represent even more of a hazard – cooked poultry bones, steak bones or pork-chop bones become very brittle and splinter easily, leading to intestinal lacerations.

Raw cattle bones are very hard, and when they are cooked they become even harder. The dog that chews on these bones may fracture one or more teeth. The most common tooth injury is called a ‘slab fracture’ and it occurs when a ‘slab’ from the side of the tooth breaks off. In many cases, the slab fracture extends into the pulp of the tooth – sometimes a root canal can be performed on the tooth to save it, but many times the only treatment is extraction. Sometimes the slab fractures can be ‘invisible’ because it involves a portion of the tooth at or below the gum line – only an examination of the pet’s mouth while under general anesthesia would show these injuries. And in many cases, the pet does not show signs of pain – the only thing that may be noticed with careful observation is that there is a reluctance to chew on one side of the mouth. Left untreated, slab fractures often progress to tooth root abscesses.
 

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Thank you so much for the informative article. I gave my larger dogs in the past bones but I haven't even consider it for my Maltese. After reading this article I am so glad that you were here to inform us of the dangers.
 

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Many vets discredit feeding dogs the raw meat and bones diet because:

a: When they go to vet school, guess what kind of companies are handing out freebies and giving "nutrition" talks? kibble companies

b: Many vets carry and sell, not raw meat and bones, but kibble. If they went around saying, "Yeah, give your dogs real food instead of this overprocessed stuff," it sure would look funny what with all the kibble brands stacked up behind them.

c: I think that still some others reccommend kibble because they figure that the average person isn't going to take the time to make sure that the dog is eating healthy. Why should they assume anyone will? Look at Americans in general. Not among the top healthy eaters in the world, that's for sure. If the average person fed their dog what they eat (pizza, canned food, instant food, fried food, etc.), then yeah, kibble would certainly be better. (Probably better for the person to be eating kibble as well, in such cases. But real food is ALWAYS better than kibble, except in rare medical cases....such as a dog with a failing liver. (a person with a failing liver would also likely need specialized food)

I can't imagine any vet worth her or his salt saying, "No, that's bad for them," when presented with a well-planned and thought out menu that provided a nice variety of REAL food by a person that they personally know would take the time and energy to maintain those standards.



Oh yeah, and as for them breaking their teeth on a bone, they can break a tooth on a chew toy. On your table leg. While chewing on a ceramic water dish. While chewing on a rock that they sneaked inside from the park. Just like they can choke on anything they can put in their mouths be it a greenie or a piece of chicken bone or a piece of kibble.
 

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Originally posted by NC's Mom@Sep 12 2005, 12:40 AM
Many vets discredit feeding dogs the raw meat and bones diet because:

a:  When they go to vet school, guess what kind of companies are handing out freebies and giving "nutrition" talks?  kibble companies

b:  Many vets carry and sell, not raw meat and bones, but kibble.  If they went around saying, "Yeah, give your dogs real food instead of this overprocessed stuff," it sure would look funny what with all the kibble brands stacked up behind them.

c:  I think that still some others reccommend kibble because they figure that the average person isn't going to take the time to make sure that the dog is eating healthy.  Why should they assume anyone will?  Look at Americans in general.  Not among the top healthy eaters in the world, that's for sure.  If the average person fed their dog what they eat (pizza, canned food, instant food, fried food, etc.), then yeah, kibble would certainly be better.  (Probably better for the person to be eating kibble as well, in such cases.  But real food is ALWAYS better than kibble, except in rare medical cases....such as a dog with a failing liver.  (a person with a failing liver would also likely need specialized food)

I can't imagine any vet worth her or his salt saying, "No, that's bad for them," when presented with a well-planned and thought out menu that provided a nice variety of REAL food by a person that they personally know would take the time and energy to maintain those standards.



Oh yeah, and as for them breaking their teeth on a bone, they can break a tooth on a chew toy.  On your table leg.  While chewing on a ceramic water dish.  While chewing on a rock that they sneaked inside from the park.  Just like they can choke on anything they can put in their mouths be it a greenie or a piece of chicken bone or a piece of kibble.
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Actually my vet says it is okay to supplement with a little boneless, skinless chicken cooked breast, or other high quality fat free/or low fat foods ie baby carrots, string beans.

One of the problems I have with people feeding raw diets is that little dogs have a very different digestive tract than do humans. Their digestive tract is more straight and therefore food does not stay inside as long. Therefore it is very important to get as much quality nutrition into the little doggie as possible. Just because one might give their doggie a raw diet does not mean that the doggie is getting quality or even proper nutrition. Even the large dog food companies you mentioned know that vitamins and supplements must be added to ensure proper nutrition.
 

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And when my dogs were on raw, they took a multi-vitamin, just to be sure. Actually, Sir N still takes his as he considers it a treat and loves it. Little C, as pickky and finicky as ever, won't touch one and she's the one that would really benefit.

I think that in some ways, she's on a kind of strike, trying to petition for a return to a raw diet. But, she didn't eat healthy on a raw diet. She ONLY ate meat and refused everything else. Sir N ate fruits (as treats only) and veggies and grains as well as meats....he's not at all picky. He thrived on raw as he has diversified tastes. Little C didn't do well as she didn't eat a variety of foods. So, they are on kibble as she won't eat her veggies and it's not fair for her to have to watch Sir N get all the good stuff while she doesn't get any.

But, they do still eat a lot of real food. They are both nuts about tofu. Sir N still gets veggies and fruits. Neither get any meat any more....but that's because I'm vegan and simply don't have any in the house that isn't walking around on two or four legs already. :D
 

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MalteseJane... thanks so much for the great article!! It could save someone's baby from the complications of eating bones.
 

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I never get into these types of discussions because I don't like to cause arguments. My brother fed his dogs the BARF meals (he has 2 Rotties). His female became extremely ill and when taken to the vet they took some films. They showed a mas of bone in her small intestine. She had to have surgery to remove it (a long difficult recovery followed). The vet told him he could use boneless skinless chicken and add bone meal instead.....he did that for a while until HE became violently ill (by fault of his own, probably). So....needless to say, he feeds his dogs kibble now. When I read that article I said to myself "OMG, that's EXACTLY what happened with my brother and his dogs!" So I felt inclined to post.
 

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What about marrow bones? My brother gives them to his dog just to chew on, not to eat..are they ok? Sometimes kylee will start chewing on one left over from my brother's dog...is this really bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually my vet does not mind me feeding Alex home cooked food. He is not even pushing on me vitamins to give him.
When vets are writing those articles, you have to keep in perspective that they see a lot of dogs coming in with injuries because of bones and bad food. Not all people are like us who want only the best for our babies and treat them like children. You know if raw food is not handled properly it spoiles rapidly. Tho it would take a lot of spoiling before affecting a dog. They even like it when it smells what we call stinky. It's not only because they sell dog food that they are against it. It's just part of many reasons.
 

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Yes, that is true. I think it's probably rare that a person brings in a dog to say, "Hey, my dog is perfectly healthy, eats well, plays a lot, and never causes problems." The vets only see the dogs with problems. They don't see the dogs that are eating raw bones and thriving on it and loving it. So, huge assumptions are made.

For something to compare to: my father was a cop. He had issues with certain "types" of people. Well, those certain "types" of people were the ones that were often getting hauled off to jail. He was prejudiced because of this. It certainly wasn't right...I mean, there were many other people belong to the very same "type" who never got in trouble with the law. But, because he only saw the ones that did.......

Same kind of thing with the vets, I think.

(Oh, and I said type because it was not just race)
 

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Thank you so much for the article. I made my husband read it. He thought it was okay to give our baby a pork chop bone or a T-bone from time to time. Of course he loves them and I kept telling my husband not to give them to him especially after I took him to potty and it was white and I figured it was from the bones. Like I told my husband over and over when he gets choked on one me and you will fight. When I caught his head turned I would throw them away. Let me tell you it is no fun stepping on them either!
 

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Originally posted by MalteseJane@Sep 12 2005, 05:42 PM
You know if raw food is not handled properly it spoiles rapidly.
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I would be concerned about meat spoiling and not being aware of it. However, home cooking is probably okay provided that it ends up being balanced with proper amount of protein, fat and carbs. I am not sure Miko would eat a balanced food though -- he would probably just go for the meat and ignore the stuff he doesn't like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally posted by okw+Sep 18 2005, 11:16 AM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-MalteseJane
@Sep 12 2005, 05:42 PM
You know if raw food is not handled properly it spoiles rapidly.
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I would be concerned about meat spoiling and not being aware of it. However, home cooking is probably okay provided that it ends up being balanced with proper amount of protein, fat and carbs. I am not sure Miko would eat a balanced food though -- he would probably just go for the meat and ignore the stuff he doesn't like.
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If you put the meat and vegetables together in your grinder there is no way they can choose. If you cut up the meat and vegetables with a knife, you need to make it small enough and mix well everything together.
 

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MalteseJane, that was my idea, too. But, Little C still found a way to make a choice...she refused to eat it. Once, she actually pushed her bowl in Sir N's direction and then he gobbled it down. *roll eyes at Little C*
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by NC's Mom@Sep 19 2005, 01:09 AM
MalteseJane, that was my idea, too.  But, Little C still found a way to make a choice...she refused to eat it.  Once, she actually pushed her bowl in Sir N's direction and then he gobbled it down.  *roll eyes at Little C*
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That can happen. But would she let herself starve ? If she will eat only the meat you would have to supplement with vitamins tho our dachshund was just fine with only meat. That was another one that did not like vegetables. Lol.
 
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