|Barked: Fri Aug 14, '09 8:39am PST |
|We had a very scary experience with Spice yesterday.
I had fed them goat shoulder (chunked), which I have fed with success many, many times. Spice took the bone out of her crate and continued to work on it after the meat was stripped off. My sister (her owner) noticed her doing this and thought idly to herself, "Maybe I should take that away from her," but as Spice has always broken bones down just fine in the past, she decided to let her have it. This was around 6pm. At about midnight, my sister headed up to bed and noticed that something was "off" about Spice. She was panting heavily and her sides were heaving. Instead of settling down in her favorite spot on the bed, she was sprawled out on the floor looking uncomfortable. My sister called me in, and I palpated Spice all over to see if there was any body part causing her pain. When I palpated her stomach, she whined (and this dog is not a whiner by any means). My sister decided to take her to the e-vet. They took x-rays of Spice and the first words out of the doctor's mouth when he came back were, "Not good." Spice did indeed have a bone fragment in her stomach, which they said could be causing the pain, but they weren't concerned about that as they said it would pass on it's own eventually. They were concerned, however, about the piece of bone that was lodged in her esophagus, trapped against her diaphragm. They recommended an endoscopy to remove the bone immediately, but of course that e-vet didn't have the proper equipment to perform one. So at 3am, off we went to a different vet hospital. After various computer snafus and an e-vet who didn't initially respond to phone calls asking him to come in (!), Spice finally was sedated and had the endoscopy done. Around 9:45am, my sister got a call that she came through the surgery just fine and there was only mild irritation to the esophagus. Spice is currently on Pepcid to coat her esophagus/stomach and a sucralfate suspension every eight hours. We are thanking our lucky stars that Spice is okay and feel very blessed that my sister was so in tune with Spice that she noticed immediately when something was "off."
We love the raw diet and love what it has done for our pups (it'll be a year in September that we embarked on raw)... but there are risks involved with feeding your dogs this way. My sister feels guilty because she didn't take the bone away from Spice when she saw that she was still working on it. I feel guilty for feeding the dogs chunks of goat, as I have heard repeated warnings to stay away from "cut" bones like pork and beef necks, chunks of bone-in goat, etc. but thought that my dogs would be okay as they 1. were careful chewers and processed the bones well and 2. will usually leave the bones in their crates after they are done tearing the meat off if they felt the bone was too hard for them. Apparently, as this scare with Spice taught us, they didn't always make the correct decision about whether or not to leave over the bone. It is our job, as their owners and the people responsible for their well-being, to make the decisions about when they are done with the bones and take them away if appropriate.
Please, please, PLEASE, always monitor your dogs closely while they are eating and remove the bones as you see necessary. This scare has made me decide that my dogs will only be allowed to fully consume poultry bones (chicken, turkey, duck), which are much softer and more pliable than beef, goat, or pork. (Oh, they can also consume fish bones. I forgot about how soft fish bones are.) I will continue to monitor them while they are eating (as I have always done) and will take away harder bones that have been stripped of all their meat. It's just not worth the risk for me to let them have those bones anymore.
Happy raw feeding and please, be careful and trust your instincts always!
|my posts | my page | msg me | my family's posts | gift me | become pals|| [notify]|