When he was a young puppy, I showed my dog how much I
truly loved him by gifting him with lots of rawhide toys for Christmas.
A week later, he was in the hospital facing surgery for intestinal
blockage. Rawhide toys, when chewed, become soggy and very sticky. They
form a huge bolus in the stomach or even lower, in the bowel. Bits and
pieces of chewed rawhide keep adhering to the already growing bolus, and
before you know it, your dog is suffering from a blockage. The
veterinarian, through a barium enema and x-ray, could see the rawhide
"ball" inside my dogs intestinal tract. Three harrowing, uncomfortable
days of laxatives was the answer, but it could very well have been
surgery had he not passed this potential killer on his own.
Symptoms include lethargy, bloody diarrhea and/or
vomiting. I have never given my dog another rawhide chew toy, and I hope
that this information will save other dog owners from suffering the same
worry and expense that I did, and other dogs from suffering the same
painful and life-threatening fate.
I reluctantly switched my dog to pigs ears for a short
time, until my veterinarian advised against it. Her concerns were for
the parasites and other organisms that can be passed to the dog from
pigs ears. Aside from the obvious ethical reasons for not giving a dog
the ear of a slaughtered pig, these chew "toys" can also be dangerous.
I have since found the solution to my dog's chewing
obsession. Now he gets nylabones, booda-bones, carrot bones and, his
favorite, chew bones made from corn starch and flavored with all kinds
of wonderful vegetable and fruit flavors. They make great stocking
stuffers for those of us who just cannot help but engage in a little
harmless anthropomorphism during the holidays!
Go on to
Return to 8 December 1999 Issue
Return to Newsletters
** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been
specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this
not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the
copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your
own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright