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Beware of bone treats: They can kill your dog, FDA says

“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat," one FDA veterinarian said.
“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat," one FDA veterinarian said. Star-Telegram archives

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received 68 reports of illnesses related to bone treats and is warning that consumers may not want to feed them to their dogs.

About 15 dogs have died after eating a bone treat, the FDA reported.

The treats are processed and packaged for sale in stores.

“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, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.

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.

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

The reports, sent in by pet owners and veterinarians, involved about 90 dogs, and some reports included more than one dog. The FDA received seven reports of product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed by the pet.

“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” Stamper. said “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”

To report a problem with a pet food or treat, visit the FDA webpage “How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.”

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

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