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  1. #1
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    Default Okay to give a dog a cooked ham bone?

    Just finished making soup out of the Easter ham, and it has a yummy-looking bone after everything boiled off. Safe to give to a dog? (Non-splintering?)
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  2. #2
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    NO!!!!!!!!!!

    This is the kind of "innocent" stuff that keeps me in business (emergency and critical care).



  3. #3

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    *COOKED* bones of any kind should Never be given to a dog. (Only exception being bones that have been cooked thoroughly in a PRESSURE cooker and are soft and crumbling.)

    Beyond that, for some reason, even the smoked ham bones sold in pet shops for dogs seem to be too brittle. I bought one once and had to throw it out after about two minutes with a dog, it just fell apart. They just don't have enough thickness to them for a larger dog. I would never give any ham (pork) bones to my dog for that reason. They *might* be okay for a small dog, but...
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Into the trash it goes.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  5. #5
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    Default

    I've been told that not only are the bones potentially deadly, but also NEVER to feed my dogs any ham meat. My vet says it causes pancreatitous (sp?). He said they suffer horribly and die.



  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chizmom View Post
    I've been told that not only are the bones potentially deadly, but also NEVER to feed my dogs any ham meat. My vet says it causes pancreatitous (sp?). He said they suffer horribly and die.
    Well, that might be a stretch, depending on the kind of dog you have. Certain foods can cause pancreatitus. Pig ears for one. Pancreatitus IS very painful and can present (oddly enough) as lameness because it is so painful just to move. Once they've had an attack, they are more prone to it and yes they can die from it if you don't get them to the vet promptly.

    When in doubt, don't feed scraps or bones. Your dog won't die from NOT getting these treats, although their eyes will tell you otherwise.
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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  7. #7
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    Ahhh, pancreatitis. The bain of my existance it seems (or is it bane?).

    We THINK fatty meals are to blame for many cases of pancreatitis. But not always, (esp in schnauzers). But it is still best to avoid fatty foods anyway.

    Pancreatitis can be fatal for sure. It can also be mild and often even undetected. Alot of dogs with "sensitive stomachs" are having chronic bouts of mild pancreatits. Repeated bouts of pancreatits can also lead to diabetes later on due to scarring of the pancrease.

    Basically, if it ain't dog food, dont' feed it to a dog.



  8. #8
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    Default Thanks Meghan

    Meghan , may I just say I love having you here to answer all these questions? You are very kind to do so! Not many professionals out there like to talk business after work hours, and I certainly don't blame them. Being a dog trainer, I get lots of "...a dog trainer? I had a dog once!", etc. I imagine its 10x worse for you. Thank you for all of your answers.



  9. #9
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    Default

    cooked bones never, especially those smoked bones they sell in the pet store. They splinter, they don't digest.
    Ham is ok to give dogs in small amounts- it makes excellent training rewards. But it's smoked and salty and preserved, not good things for dogs. Pork, cooked or raw, is an excellent meat to feed to dogs.
    As to pancreatitis- dogs fed raw diets consume very large amounts of fat and almost never come down with pancreatitis. Sled dogs are fed extremely high fat diets and don't seem to be bothered much by the condition.
    The usual victim is an overweight middle-aged female dog who is used to consuming a high-carb low-fat kibble diet, and suddenly gets hold of some fat source.
    So feeding chunks of meat/fat and table scraps on a daily basis may be protective against pancreatitis. It certainly seems to be protective against bloat, which is major killer of dogs.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    cooked bones never, especially those smoked bones they sell in the pet store. They splinter, they don't digest.
    Ham is ok to give dogs in small amounts- it makes excellent training rewards. But it's smoked and salty and preserved, not good things for dogs. Pork, cooked or raw, is an excellent meat to feed to dogs.
    As to pancreatitis- dogs fed raw diets consume very large amounts of fat and almost never come down with pancreatitis. Sled dogs are fed extremely high fat diets and don't seem to be bothered much by the condition.
    The usual victim is an overweight middle-aged female dog who is used to consuming a high-carb low-fat kibble diet, and suddenly gets hold of some fat source.
    So feeding chunks of meat/fat and table scraps on a daily basis may be protective against pancreatitis. It certainly seems to be protective against bloat, which is major killer of dogs.
    There is no one link to what causes a dog (or cat) to develope overt, clinical pancreatitis.
    NEVER feed raw pork. Too many parasites can be in pork meat.
    As for the "usual victim"... there is no usual victim. I see it in fat dogs or skinny dogs. Young dogs (record for me is 6 months) and old dogs. All breeds though schnauzers and daschunds are "over represented". All 4 sexes. All sorts of diets. Some with no change in diet.

    As for your proposed dietary preventative, I wouldn't stake my $4K on it.
    The only things that have been shown to be linked with protecting against bloat is a dog food that does NOT contain any fat or oil in its first 3 ingredients, feeding small meals several times a day, and preventing exercise/activity immediately after eating. If you would like the journal article reference I can get it for you.

    BTW, thanks Lovey.



  11. #11
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    Default NO DOGS ARE ALLERGIC TO PORK !!!!! That's what a famous dog breeder told me ?

    NO NO NO !!!

    DOGS ARE ALLERGIC TO PORK ~

    And when the barn owner gave his beagle the HONEY BAKE HAM BONE... WELL ...the dog almost died ...I tht the vet said due to the pork not the bone ...
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  12. #12
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    The only things that have been shown to be linked with protecting against bloat is a dog food that does NOT contain any fat or oil in its first 3 ingredients, feeding small meals several times a day, and preventing exercise/activity immediately
    um no, none of these have been "proven" to protect against bloat. The first statement, about the dog food ingredients, came from the horribly flawed Purdue study- be careful when researching bloat, because if it came from that Purdue study it's almost certainly wrong; look for the name "Glickman" in the authors and view the results with great caution. The idea that what is listed in the first three ingredients on a bag of dog food doesn't even make sense- they are listed by weight. These two dog foods could be identical in composition, and yet you claim one may protect against bloat?:
    A. chicken, chicken meal, rice, chicken fat
    B. chicken meal, rice, chicken fat

    Stress actually seems to be the biggest trigger for bloat.

    Here are is a non-Purdue study suggesting that adding chunks of meat to the diet is protective:


    Vet Rec. 1998 Jul 11;143(2):48-50.
    Small size of food particles and age as risk factors for gastric dilatation volvulus in great danes.
    Theyse LF, van de Brom WE, van Sluijs FJ.
    SourceFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

    Abstract
    A case-control study was conducted to investigate whether age, gender, neuter status, type of food, feeding frequency, food intake time, interval between feeding and exercise, duration of exercise and overall physical activity were risk factors for gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) in the great dane. The sample population consisted of 38 great danes with acute GDV (cases) and 71 great danes owned by members of the Dutch Great Dane Association (controls). Information on the risk factors was collected by using clinical data in combination with a questionnaire, and the data were analysed by backward stepwise conditional logistic regression analysis. Dogs fed a diet containing particles of food > 30 mm in size (kibble and/or dinner and/or home-prepared food with large pieces of meat) had a lower risk of GDV than dogs fed a diet containing only particles < 30 mm in size (kibble or dinner and/or canned meat and/or home-prepared food cut into small pieces or ground in a food processor). Increasing age was also a risk factor for GDV. Gender, neuter status, feeding frequency, food intake time, the interval between feeding and exercise, the duration of exercise, and overall physical activity were not identified as risk factors. Feeding a diet including large pieces of meat may help to reduce the incidence of GDV in great danes.



    NEVER feed raw pork. Too many parasites can be in pork meat.
    As for the "usual victim"... there is no usual victim. I see it in fat dogs or skinny dogs. Young dogs (record for me is 6 months) and old dogs. All breeds though schnauzers and daschunds are "over represented". All 4 sexes. All sorts of diets. Some with no change in diet.
    there aren't any parasites in commercial U.S. raw pork- they've been eliminated.
    As to the rest- we get this all the time from practicing med professionals- they refer to cases they've seen, often only remembering the more unusual ones, and extrapolate that. When in fact the only way to identify what the "usual victim" and possible causes are is to conduct a large cross-sectional epidemiology study. Yes, any dog can come down with pancreatitis but that doesn't mean it's the "usual victim".
    Last edited by wendy; May. 3, 2011 at 09:47 AM.



  13. #13
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    Default

    Let me tell you about a little story in regards to a ham bone and a dog.

    I brought my dog home to my parents' house one holiday. My mother thought it would be a great idea, at night, to give my dog a cooked hambone. Had I known she had planned on doing so, I would have said "NO WAY!"

    The next morning, the stench of feces permeated through the house, and I heard whimpering coming from my dog's crate (that had been set up in the kitchen.)

    As I approached the kitchen, the smell intensified.

    Explosive diarrhea.

    The poor guy had pushed his blanket in his crate to move diarrhea out of the pan so he had a clean place to lay (although he was covered in diarrhea, too.) The walls had diarrhea on them. The vinyl floor had diarrhea on it. The dog had diarrhea on him.

    I moved he and his crate outside. I put his harness on and tied him to the fence post in my parents' pool area and began to work. Of course, he was happy to see me when I went back outside to give him a bath...so he jumped all over me. Now I was covered with diarrhea. My mother, realizing what had happened volunteered to clean up inside the house.

    We took him to the Vet for a check-up. The Vet gave him IV fluids and told us the dosage for kaopectate for him. They kept him a few hours before sending him home.

    Besides cooked bones splintering...now you know another reason not to feed cooked bones - especially hambones/pork ribs.

    P.S. Dogs are not "allergic to pork." Perhaps the dog was intolerant to pork (as most dogs are due to fat content, sugars, etc.) There is a difference between food intolerance and food allergies.

    From a Vet forum: "Pork in itself is as harmless to dogs as chicken, beef or any other meat. However, there is a slight risk of your dog being infected with trichinosis by eating pork." I would venture to guess that would be wild hog, etc. Some dogs can digest pork better than others, but dogs are not allergic to it (many kibbles use pork meal, pig ears, pig snouts, etc. for chew toys) How do you ensure there aren't any parasites in pork before dogs eat it (although there are so many other proteins out there - why feed it?)? Deep freeze in a chest freezer before feeding. Same goes for wild-caught fish (as in ones you just pulled out of a stream) and most wild game.

    P.S.S. In regards to pancreatitis and dog food....changed an EPI dog over from high quality kibble (recommended by a Vet when the dog was Dx'ed with EPI) to a raw diet, and the dog lived until he was fourteen.
    Last edited by HydroPHILE; May. 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryswyn View Post
    When in doubt, don't feed scraps or bones. Your dog won't die from NOT getting these treats, although their eyes will tell you otherwise.


    Our german shepherd/border collie mutt swiped a rib bone out of my SO's nephew's hand and swallowed it whole. We lived on constant "foreign body surgery" alert for a week. Hilariously at the time, my SO was a 4th year vet student on a surgery rotation.



  15. #15
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    Default

    Pork and parasites: Yes, COMMERCIALLY produced pork is safe. However alot of backyard raised pork gets fed uncooked garbage/scraps. I have learned over the years to not assume when I say something like pork that everyone knows I am talking commercially produced pork.

    As for "no dog is allergic to pork". Dogs can become allergic to anything. If pork was an absolute non-allergan then all the hypoallergenic foods would have pork as their novel protein.

    Studies: what "causes" bloat is like "what causes founder". too many variables. The purdue study might have value. Might not. The Urtrech study is prob not absolute either. I have found that many european studies don't necessary mean as much in the US due to different husbandry, etc practices.
    Only 'sure' way to prevent bloat is a pexy. May not prevent bloat per say but will prevent the twist. Assuming dog doesn't outlive the pexy scarring. And, to be a devil's advocate and demonstrate that there is no one answer to preventing bloat..which pexy technique it "the right one"?

    We see bloats in dogs that are kenneled/boarded that we know were not excercised, etc after feeding. See bloats in older, inactive dogs. Our surgeons feel that some of these dogs have underlying pain going on, causing panting and filling of the stomach with air. They find gallbladder disease in a good number of these older dogs.

    Bloat has been reported in cats and ferrets too. And the first 2 bloats I ever did were in puppies, about 3-4 m old! Go figure.

    But back to the OP's question: no bones, pork, ham or otherwise. Yeah, some dogs tolerate them (like my pyrenes who has found a cow graveyard somewhere) but it is worth risk of feeding a bone intentionally? While I love my job and really like making a living, I am the LAST veterinarian you want to have to see. And as an animal advocate I have to encourage you to do all you can to avoid me. Enough stupid stuff happens without us helping.



  16. #16
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    MeghanDACVA, thank you for all you do, here and at work.

    You do a job I'd find incredibly difficult.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by morganpony86 View Post


    Our german shepherd/border collie mutt swiped a rib bone out of my SO's nephew's hand and swallowed it whole. We lived on constant "foreign body surgery" alert for a week. Hilariously at the time, my SO was a 4th year vet student on a surgery rotation.
    Of course, since he was a vet student. And on his surgery rotation.

    It amazes me what some dogs can eat and pass without so much as a burp. And what other dogs only need a sniff of to kill them.

    BTW, "allergy" and "tolerate" are 2 different things. Allergies are an immune response unique to that particular individual. Yes, all normal dogs can "tolerate" pork, chicken, beef, rabbit, etc. However, some develope allergies to particular proteins.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zu Zu View Post
    NO NO NO !!!

    DOGS ARE ALLERGIC TO PORK ~

    And when the barn owner gave his beagle the HONEY BAKE HAM BONE... WELL ...the dog almost died ...I tht the vet said due to the pork not the bone ...
    what??? lmao
    Don't squat with yer spurs on
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  19. #19
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    No one said "no dog is allergic to pork." Anyone can develop an "allergy" (or at least in humans, more commonly a sensitivity--if you're not experiecing anaphalactic symptoms like hives, wheezing, and swelling, it is not in fact an allergy). But Zu ZU said, in essence, ALL dogs are allergic to pork. Simply not true.

    And I would always assume someone meant commercially-raised pork (which is harmless as far as parasites go--trichinosis was eliminated long ago by controlled feeding). Most people really do shop in the supermarket and if you avoid the 'free-range' stuff where they don't control what the pigs eat to the last ounce, you're fine cooking it medium-rare. I wouldn't eat wild boar withour basically cremating it first, but a pig from a standard modern hog farm? Wouldn't worry me, or giving my dogs scraps of it.



  20. #20
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    Default

    wow..have times changed. I don't own dogs anymore since I'm allergic to them. but grew up with a toy dachsund. she lived to be 17 years old and survived cancer (a tumor the size of a softball blew up in her uterus when she was 13, it was surgically removed) . this dog also loved to swim and did everything with the entire family all the time. she was a sweetie!

    once or twice a year she would get the ham bone when we had ham. She'd work on it for about a week. the bones were usually bigger than her! She also didn't like dog food so she would eat cat food and did get lots of table scraps! The only time she became sick from eating something was when she got into 2lbs of homemade fudge that was out for a party..and puked it everywhere.

    So, I know, it's all bad now...but all I have to say is it didn't bother her.
    I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!



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