U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement that it has received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to processed and packaged “bone treats.”
A variety of commercially available bone treats for dogs—including treats described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones”—were listed in the reports. The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.
“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” said Carmela Stamper, DVM, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.
Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
- Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Approximately 16 dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.
The reports, sent in by pet owners and veterinarians, involved about 90 dogs (some reports included more than one dog). In addition, FDA received seven reports of product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed by the pet.