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Don't Give A Dog A Bone, FDA Says

By Jennifer C. Kerr, AP

If they only knew, dogs from coast to coast might be howling over this advice from the government.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a reminder to consumers Wednesday to toss out bones from their meals rather than feed them to their pets.

"Some people think it's safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast," said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA. "Bones are unsafe no matter what their size."

The FDA spelled out 10 reasons it's a bad idea to give doggie a real bone.

Among them: broken teeth, mouth or tongue injuries, bones or fragments of bones getting stuck in a dog's esophagus or even its stomach, which might require surgery. Bone fragments also can cause constipation.

Worse, it could be deadly. Giving your dog a real bone could cause a bacterial infection of the abdomen, called peritonitis, when fragments poke holes in a dog's stomach or intestines. "Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog," says the caution from the FDA.

The Better Business Bureau recently cautioned pet owners about feeding a popular treat, Dynamic Pet Products' Real Ham Bone for Dogs, to pets. It says a number of consumers have complained that dogs became seriously ill or died from internal damage due to bone fragments. The company has denied any wrongdoing, according to the bureau news release.

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