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FDA: Dog bone treats are dangerous for pets

The Food and Drug Administration has a warning for dog lovers planning to stuff stockings with treats: Stay away from “bone treats.”

The FDA has received nearly 70 reports of pet illnesses (involving 90 dogs) related to bone treats. Those reports include cases of digestive tract blockage, choking, cuts and wounds in the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding from the rectum.

In addition, about 15 dogs died after eating a bone treat, according to 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,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.

Bone treats are different than the uncooked bones you can get from the butcher shop. These treats are processed, possibly flavored and packaged. They may also be dried through a smoking process or by baking and contain preservatives and smoke flavorings, according to the FDA.

Rather than the bone treats, the FDA recommends talking with your veterinarian about the toys or treats that are appropriate for your dog.

The FDA also recommends supervising dogs with any chew toy or treat, especially one the dog hasn’t had before.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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