My Dog Ate Rib Bones And Is Throwing Up

Photo by Steve Snodgrass on Flickr

Dogs love bones. There’s no question about that. But just like anything else, feeding your pooch with bones has its cons, too.

If you are not careful, your pet may suffer from broken teeth as well as mouth or tongue injuries.

Or worse, the bone or pieces of it may get stuck in the dog’s oesophagus, windpipe, stomach, or even in the intestines.

With this in mind, you have to be extra careful when incorporating bones into your puppy’s diet. It is important that you know which type of bone to give or not to give.

Now, some of you may have given rib bones to your pet and that has caused your dog to throw up. Does that mean something is wrong?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions that dog owners have in mind.

What you will learn from this article

My dog is vomiting bone fragments, what should I do?

A dog vomiting bone fragments is another possibility if he has been given bones to chew on. As a pup chews on the bone, little pieces may break and he could swallow those. It’s either they go down all the way to his intestines and pass through later on, or those fragments could also get lodged to the esophagus or intestines. It is actually a good sign if your dog is throwing up with shards of bones because, at least, they are coming back out. That’s better than for them remaining in the esophagus or intestines, which later on may require surgery.

Dogs may vomit bone fragments several hours or even days after they have ingested bones. The best thing to do at this point is to take your pet to the clinic so the vet can check if there are more bone fragments that need to be removed.

This should be done without any delay because if left untreated, it could lead to serious problems, or even death. A bone fragment could poke a hole into your dog’s stomach or intestines. It could also cause serious infections.

Are bones good for dogs?

 It’s the nature of dogs to love bones. Some of them, especially those that are in the teething stage, would chew just about anything that they can get into. And at times like this, parents usually give their pets treats, and bones are on top of the list.

 In general, bones are good for dogs. They contain nutrients. Plus, they help satisfy the canine’s appetite. When dogs chew on bones, the action stimulates saliva enzymes, which, in turn, helps prevent plaque buildup. This also supports the prevention of teeth and gum diseases. Also, chewing on bones helps keep dogs preoccupied. With this, they won’t be licking their paws excessively.

 There are many advantages of giving bones to dogs. But just like what we have mentioned earlier, there are disadvantages as well.

Cooked or raw?

 Veterinarians strongly recommend that you give your dog raw bones and never give cooked bones. Why? Because bones that have been cooked already lose their hardness. They become fragile, which means that they can easily splinter or break into pieces that can injure the mouth or gums of your pet. Those sharp bones can also cause internal damage or internal obstruction, which can cause death. And besides, raw meaty bones help in keeping your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. The ones with meat still attached to them can provide added nutrition and also aid in cleansing a dog’s digestive tract.

Bones from which type of animals?

Chewing on the right type of bones allows your puppy to reap the benefits like better dental health and proper digestion. Your pet will also be able to absorb the vitamins and minerals from raw meaty bones. But then again, this will only be possible if you feed the right kind.

Beef bones are typically harder than that of the other animals, so it would be the best as long as you serve a large one. Avoid giving a beef bone that is smaller than your pup’s mouth. Otherwise, he might swallow it in whole, which could lead to serious injuries and health problems.

Lamb bones are almost similar to beef bones, particularly when it comes to density. With that being said, this type of bone would be good, too. Just be very careful with the size, though. Get a huge one as much as possible.

 Pork bones, in general, are softer than that of beef and lamb even if they are raw. They can splinter. So to be on the safe side, avoid giving pork bones to your dog. The same is true with chicken and turkey bones since they are too brittle.

My dog ate a lamb bone and is throwing up

If you are concerned about what you should do if you dog eats pork bones and throws up, then it makes perfect sense that you are interested in what you should do if your dog eats a lamb bone and vomits.

There are three possible reasons why your dog might eat a lamb bone and then throw up.

And those reasons are:

  • the lamb bone was cooked and it has splintered
  • the lamb bone was small (such as rib) and has splintered
  • your dog has a sensitivity to lamb

I elaborate on all of these points in a separate post about dogs eating lamb bones and vomiting

Pork or beef rib bones? Which ones are better?

While ribs are not necessarily dangerous to your canine’s health, there are things that you should keep in mind when giving this type of bone to your dog. First off, the source. Those that came from chicken, turkey, and other smaller animals are definitely off-limits.

What about pork and beef rib bones? Both can be given to a dog, BUT it is very important that you watch your puppy as he chews on those ribs. Those bones can splinter, too, which could cause an emergency trip to the vet’s clinic. But if you are wondering which is better, beef rib bones are the answer. That’s mainly because they are much bigger than pork ribs. Plus, raw beef bones are harder than pork in general.

When allowing your pet to enjoy chewing on beef ribs, it is crucial that you monitor him. Do not let him eat the whole thing. Remember that ribs, even that of beef, are not very huge, so there is still a tendency that they could splinter into sharp pieces. Once your dog is done eating the meat off the raw beef ribs, take them away.

What are the most dangerous bones for dogs?

 Cooked bones of any kind are dangerous for dogs. But that doesn’t mean that raw bones aren’t, especially if they came from smaller animals. Chicken and turkey bones are a no-no because they are too small and the bones are generally sharp. This is what makes them dangerous for your dog.

 When it comes to pork, the large bones, like that of the femur, may be safe. But it is strongly suggested that you keep your pet away from ribs and other smaller pork bones. Keep in mind that pork bones are a lot softer than that of beef, lamb, or venison, so you might as well stick to these types.

What are the symptoms of an (intestinal) blockage in dogs?

 If your dog has swallowed a piece of bone and it has caused an intestinal blockage, you will surely notice some signs. Your pet may show one or a combination of vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, straining during bowel movements, drooling, burping, as well as abdominal bloating and pain.

 So in case you’ve given your puppy rib bones and he starts throwing up, you should seek medical treatment right away. The sooner you take your dog to the vet’s clinic, the sooner the issue would be addressed, and this will reduce potential damages.

 Oftentimes, x-ray is done first to see the exact location of the blockage and how big it is. After which, a surgery is required in order for the object to be removed. In some cases, a non-invasive surgical option called endoscopy is done as well.

How do I know if my dog’s bone has splintered?

 Dog owners are discouraged from serving cooked bones of any type to their pets. This is because once bones are cooked, they tend to soften. And if they get too brittle, they break easily when dogs chew on them. Now this action can produce sharp pieces, which could cause severe internal damages once a dog swallows them. In fact, even some raw bones can splinter, particularly those that came from chicken, turkey, and tiny animals.

 If your dog has been splintered, he will certainly exhibit some symptoms just like if he has an intestinal blockage. One of which is vomiting. The dog will try to expel the object by throwing up. He will also show some signs that he is in pain, especially if the splinter has caused damages to his windpipe, oesophagus, or puncture his gastrointestinal tract. It could also lead to choking, which is very dangerous because your pet could die from it.

Take note, though, that splinters are not dangerous all the time. If the bones are very small, the fragments may pass through without any problem, and you can see them in your pet’s stool. It is still highly recommended that you take your dog to a veterinarian if you suspect that he has been splintered. This way, proper tests and treatment can be given.

Closing Thoughts

While allowing your dog to chew on bones comes with benefits, it has disadvantages, too. So make sure that you are giving the right type of bone and monitor your dog while he chews on it. In the event that he starts throwing up after eating some rib bones, take him to a veterinarian immediately.