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My Dog Ate Fish Bones

If you’re a pet parent and your dog has eaten fish bones, then this post is for you. Fish bones can be dangerous to dogs because they may perforate the esophagus or stomach. So if your dog has swallowed fish bones, make sure you call your vet right away!  In the meantime, some things will help reduce discomfort until it’s time to see the veterinarian:

  • Give your dog a few pieces of bread to help make him feel full. 
  • Administer an over-the-counter antacid like Pepto Bismol according to the package instructions. This will help reduce stomach acid and can aid in preventative care if he keeps throwing up.

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Check for these Signs

Your dog may swallow bones when eating his own meal, gnawing on a bone, or chewing on a toy with a hidden fishbone in it. If your dog swallows fish bones, watch for these signs:

Vomiting

If he starts vomiting within an hour of eating the fish, he likely swallowed fish bones.

Call your vet or take him to the emergency veterinarian immediately if he is vomiting within that timeframe.

Painful chewing

If you notice that your dog is not acting right after eating, but wait until morning to go to the vet, then watch for painful chewing of his paws, face, and hips.

This can be a sign of a fishbone stuck in the throat.

Excessive drooling

Drooling, especially after eating, is a sign that there might be a problem with your dog’s esophagus or stomach.

Watch for this behavior and call your vet right away if you notice it within an hour of when he eats.

Inability to swallow food

If your dog is not eating but will drink water and doesn’t show any other signs of a problem, the fishbone might be stuck in his throat.

Check for this by trying to pass a small toy or stick it down his throat to see if it goes through easily.

Potential Problems

If your dog swallowed bones, he may also have problems with gas and bloating.

Check for these symptoms:

Abdominal pain or swelling

His stomach may become bloated or appear to be tender when you touch it.

If this happens, take him to the vet right away because there’s a chance that the bones are stuck in his stomach.

Complications can arise when bones are stuck in the esophagus or stomach, so if your dog is showing any of these symptoms, then give us a call right away.

To reduce discomfort until it’s time to see the veterinarian, administer an antacid according to package instructions and ensure your dog is eating and drinking.

If you notice any of the signs above, get in touch with us right away!

Choking

It is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

If your dog is choking, it can be life-threatening. Instead, allow him to try and cough the object out himself with minimal interference from you.        

Call our office right away if he has swallowed bones because we will do everything possible to get him in quickly for treatment.

Oral Injury

If your dog has an oral injury, you will see dried blood in his mouth.

Make sure he is still eating and drinking because this can be a sign of something serious like pancreatitis.

Constipation

If your dog is constipated, he may strain to have a bowel movement and cry out.

Give him pumpkin puree or baby food to help loosen up his stool.

Eating too much corn can cause constipation, so keep an eye on your dog’s diet.

Peritonitis

When a dog has peritonitis, he will show signs of vomiting and diarrhea.

He may also become lethargic and stop eating.

If your dog is showing any of these signs, then take him to the emergency veterinarian immediately!

What to Do

If your dog swallows bones, stay calm. Watch him for signs of pain or discomfort after eating. Make sure he does not choke on the fishbone and call the vet right away or visit an emergency without any delay.

Remember this advice if your dog ever needs it.

If you do not observe any of the above-listed signs, then stay calm; nothing will happen.

Do I Need to See the Vet or Go to the Emergency Animal Hospital?

If you happen to notice any of the above-listed signs or your dog is showing discomfort, then yes, please get in touch with the vet right away!

Not in all cases do dogs need medical attention because many dogs easily eat and digest fish bones, which does not disturb them.

Safe Alternatives to Eat Fish

Prevention is key, so the best way to avoid a fishbone stuck in your dog’s throat is to not feed them raw or cooked fish.

Raw bones can cause all sorts of problems, and cooked bones are just as dangerous because they splinter into sharp pieces that can cause harm to your dog.

Instead, you can give your dogs chicken necks, cheese, and frozen mixed veggies.

Can Dogs Eat Fish Bones?

No, dogs cannot eat fish bones. Keep your dog away from any fish bones and seek medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:

changes in behavior, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain when swallowing food or water, drooling.

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