Animal Writes
25 March 2000 Issue
Warning About Flexibone

On November 15, 1999, Rambo, our four-year old poodle, died of complications from surgery performed four days earlier. The purpose of the surgery was to explore for and remove an obstruction in his digestive tract that did not show up on X-ray. The vet removed two pieces of plastic that were identified as parts of a Flexibone. It had been taken away from him at least six months earlier when it was noticed that part of one end had been chewed away. The Flexibone was supposed to clean Rambo's teeth. Instead, it killed him.

One of the Flexibone parts was about 3/4" (2 cm) in diameter. The other was oval shaped at the base with diameters of about 3/4" and 1" (2 and 2.5 cm). Some of the raised tips (knobs) had been partially chewed away from the base. They acted like fishhooks to entwine some fabric from one of his toys that had more recently been swallowed. Had it not been for the parts of Flexibone lying in his gut, the fabric would have been either digested or passed through. The combination lodged at the outlet of his stomach and the inlet of his intestines.

Flexibone (also look for Plaque-Out and Dental Bone on the label) is manufactured and marketed by Nylabone. It has the ASPCA seal of approval. It is flavor impregnated so a dog will naturally try to eat it. But Nylabone states, "The product is not designed to be consumed although small pieces are harmless if swallowed." Well, tell that to Rambo!

Currently, we have identified the following retailers that sell the product:

* PetsMart

* Wal-Mart

* Pet*USA (mail-order)

As they are identified, other retailers that sell Flexibone will be added to this list. Our cause is not extortion or product liability litigation. It is to prevent the best pal of someone else from being killed by a Flexibone or a product similar to it.

If your pet died under similar circumstances, please email the details. At the very least, please tell your vet, your groomer; your pet supplier, your friends and anyone else who cares that Flexibone is a killer.

Source: [email protected]

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