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My beautiful 3 year old German Shepherd, Ellie, has been hospitalised tonight. Five nights ago, I gave her a large marrow bone as a treat, thinking she'd eat half of it, and bury the rest for later, like she'd always done with large rawhide bones we'd given her in the past. Unfortunately, I thought wrong.

She gorged herself on the entire thing, and was very bloated and ill the next day. A trip to the vet, he gives her an injection, and sends us home with antibiotics and anti-nausea tablets. Which were absolutely useless. They were almost always thrown up within the first minute. She completely lost her appetite for food and was gorging on her water, only to throw her water up too, almost immediately. But then she seemed to be on the mend these last couple of days, happily walking around and wagging her tail again. She was even starting to keep her water down too. So I felt she would be okay on her own at home while I went to work today.

Well, I got home from work today and couldn't find her anywhere. I eventually found her slumped under a bush along our back fence, in a world of discomfort and pain. I'd had a follow-up vet's appointment booked anyway (just before they closed - luckily!). So I took her in, where an x-ray revealed all that bone she gutsed herself on had clumped into one large mass in her stomach, unable to pass into her intestine for digestion for the last five days! She had to be admitted overnight, where she is currently being fed/hydrated intravenously. She is also being given drugs to help her with the pain and kick start her digestion, to hopefully pass the bone fragments safely and naturally.

I am devastated that such a classic and seemingly harmless treat for our dog has turned out to be such a harmful one. Are the financials even worth mentioning when I almost killed our beloved family member? (But if you must know, $3.50 of bone = $700+ in vet's bills.) I truly feel like the worst dog owner in the world right now. If you don't give your beloved dog bones often; DON'T DO IT. It is just not worth the risk.

Please pull through, Ellie. We love you so, so much. :-(


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I am so sorry for Ellie and hope all goes well with her....

Frankly, I had a dog who would devour rawhides, and ended up passing masses of white foam for 3 days after a rawhide.....have never given them again. I use marrow bones all the time and my dogs only eat the insides, not the bones, although occasionally they will break a little of the top off. I never give the "head" of the bone though, as there is too much soft cartilage there and I suspect this is the bone section Ellie ingested. Hopefully the treatment will work and she will be able to pass this.

Keeping fingers crossed for you and Ellie!

Lee
 

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Wow, Delgado's a heavy chewer and he's never been able to get chunks off a marrow bone. A knuckle bone, yes but not marrow which is why I don't feed knuckle anymore. I feed it raw and frozen and he'll leave teeth marks but that's it

I really hope Ellie is ok
 

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I am sos sorry to hear about the experience this was also my fear my pup is only 15 weeks and after this I think I will be staying away from bones all together thanks so much and I really hope Ellie pulls through.
 

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I am sos sorry to hear about the experience this was also my fear my pup is only 15 weeks and after this I think I will be staying away from bones all together thanks so much and I really hope Ellie pulls through.
There are so many horror stories out there don't give this chew or that bone, but dogs need to chew as you are going to find out soon. If you don't give them something to chew on they will start eating your furniture, your shoes, even rocks (ask me how expensive that one can get?) etc..

I'm sorry the OP had this happen. :( If I'm going to rush them to the vet I'd rather it be from a natural bone than from them eating something plastic.
 

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Sorry to hear about you dog. I know how scary it can be. I gave the dogs bully sticks a few weeks ago. Before I knew it Kiya was done, the other 2 dogs finished about half so I picked those up, chewy time over. A little while later Kiya started heaving, I figured she was going to puke so I let them go outside. She franticly ate grass, I tried to stay calm but I was ready to jump in the truck. I let her continue for a short while then brought her inside. She wasn't heaving and seemed to have calmed down. A short while after I took the dogs out, she went potty no intrest in grass and when we went inside she was looking for her cookie. We were lucky, I gave her a gasx.
They haven't had the rest of the bully sticks yet, I will only let her have half while I watch.
 

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There are so many horror stories out there don't give this chew or that bone, but dogs need to chew as you are going to find out soon. If you don't give them something to chew on they will start eating your furniture, your shoes, even rocks (ask me how expensive that one can get?) etc..

I'm sorry the OP had this happen. :( If I'm going to rush them to the vet I'd rather it be from a natural bone than from them eating something plastic.
True. Dogs NEED to chew. If you are really concerned, or have a crazy inhaler.... supervise and then remove the bone when you are not there.

Sure hope OP's dog is alright.
 

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Wow, Delgado's a heavy chewer and he's never been able to get chunks off a marrow bone. A knuckle bone, yes but not marrow which is why I don't feed knuckle anymore. I feed it raw and frozen and he'll leave teeth marks but that's it

I really hope Ellie is ok
same here for our pup, he licks it clean, scrapes it here and there, eats the inside and any meat left on it and that's it, bored with it. I even reuse with peanut butter.
 

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Both dogs just eat the inside and whatever meat is on the outside. They chew the bone only as long as there is something yummy in it.
I reuse them by filling them with canned dog food and freezing....
 

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You should never feel like the worst dog owner just because you gave Ellie a treat that you thought she would enjoy. I posted a message a few weeks ago asking for opinions on uncooked soup bones because I wanted to give my 5-month-old Maggie something she could chew on while teething, and I didn't know if she was too young. I decided against it because I was worried she would break her teeth since, once she got the marrow out, she would have just chomped down on the bone.

We always feel so helpless when our beloved dogs are sick, so I hope Ellie is well on her way to recovery.

Susan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
True. Dogs NEED to chew. If you are really concerned, or have a crazy inhaler.... supervise and then remove the bone when you are not there.

Sure hope OP's dog is alright.
This is the first time she has done anything like this. Also, I trusted her not to gorge on it all at once, as she has never done anything in her 3 years to suggest to me that she would. I did watch her as she ate it. The last I saw, she'd eaten about a third of it, then left it. It was quite late in the evening, my mistake was that I trusted her with her bone and didn't think it necessary to take it away from her. Then I went to sleep for the night, and this is when she has gone back to devour the rest.

After learning the hard way from this horrible experience, we are not going down the path of giving her bones again. It might be great for other dogs, but I will never do anything that could put her through that again. She has plenty of chew toys that she utilises, and gets treated with Dentastix regularly, and she has always had the most beautiful, strong, white teeth. Being 3 and no longer a puppy, she has been over her destructive "chew everything in sight" phase for quite some time. So I had no real reason to take a departure from our usual methods, other than wanting her to try something different. And when I took that departure, this happened.

Waiting nervously for the vet's phone call, hope it all went well last night!


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Sorry, what I just wrote sounds overtly defensive! The failing here was definitely my neglecting to take the remaining bone away, and the lack of supervision when I went to sleep. But I definitely stand by what I said in that I am never giving her bones again.

Also, thank you all so much for your kind wishes!!


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At custom butcher shops you can get the large beef joints covered with tissue, ligaments, meat etc. Ask them to not leave any pipe bone. It takes quite a lot of chewing before they are down on the bone itself. Then I remove it.
 

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Happy to say that after a week at the veterinary hospital, Ellie is coming home tomorrow! It certainly hasn't been without its dramas, she bloated twice, both times requiring her already-battered stomach to be decompressed. But the bone has completely passed through her now (thank goodness she at least chewed it up properly), and she is eating and digesting her food somewhat normally. She will require extra care over the coming months for her stomach to heal completely. But we'll get there in good time! However, there is a good chance she will have some long-term health issues as a result of this bone-gorging incident.

Also, after a week of being cooped up there, I have noticed she has become SUPER protective. When I visited tonight and took her for a walk, she went crazy at anyone and everyone in sight. Other people have never fazed her in the past (unless they were also walking a dog, then she'd go crazy at the dog). So she will need some re-training too.

But after coming so close to losing her, I am just thrilled to have her back home, safe and sound. It's a bit late now, but we are still DEFINITELY getting ourselves some insurance to cover us for any future mishaps! This $3.50 marrow bone ended up costing us $2,500 in vet bills!


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I'm so glad to hear she pulled through ok !
 

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I'm so glad to hear she's ok :)

When you say marrow bone do you mean you fed just the bone "tube" with the marrow inside or a whole marrowbone with the cartilage joints on either end?

Does she usually get any bone or raw meat?

Just interested, I buy mine big knuckle bones all the time, they chew them over a few days and in the end I'm left with the hard bone tube but the "knuckles get chewed off.
You're making me worry.....
 

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same here for our pup, he licks it clean, scrapes it here and there, eats the inside and any meat left on it and that's it, bored with it. I even reuse with peanut butter.

that's what Roxy does too..I get the shank size bones ( the knuckle ones scare me)...all she does is chew the stuff off the edge ( what I havent' already removed upon taking it out of the plastic) ..and digs the inside stuff out..licks the bone for awhile and then is done. She does this with 1 bone ..usually for a week and then I pitch it and get her a new one.

I do however watch her with it. In fact while I'm typing this she is in the kitchen with her latest one trying to do some last minute cleaning of it. she has never tried to eat it...but that would freak me out if she did.
 
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