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FDA warns dog owners of 'bone treats' following illness, deaths

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WASHINGTON – The FDA is warning pet owners about bone treats that have caused numerous illnesses and killed dozens of dogs.

At least 15 deaths and 68 illnesses are now related to the store-bought bone treats described as Ham Bones, Pork Femur Bones, Rib Bones and Smokey Knuckle Bones.

USA Today reports the treats are not actual butcher bones and are dried through baking or smoking and contain preservatives and smoke flavor.

“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," according to Carmela Stamper, an FDA veterinarian.

Illnesses reported by dog owners after their pets have eaten the bone treats include:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
  • Choking
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the rectum, and/or
  • Death. Approximately fifteen dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.

The FDA recommends speaking with your vet about appropriate treats for your dog.