FDA warns of risks of ‘bone treats’ after reports of illnesses, death

(WCMH/WDTN) – The FDA is warning against giving dogs ‘bone treats’ after dozens of reports of illnesses and at least 15 deaths.

According to the FDA, the ‘bone treats’ differ from uncooked butcher-type bones because they are processed and packaged for sale as dog 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.

2 NEWS spoke with emergency veterinarian Dr. William Bean at Med-Vet in Moraine who says no bone treats are good for dogs.

“Bones can cause blockages and intestinal bleeding,” said Bean.

The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.

According to Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA, “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.”

Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:

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.

The FDA offered the following tips:

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