Sunday, January 10, 2010

A cautionary tale

Casey is running around in his brace, pouncing through the snow and generally living like any normal dog. His therapies continue and despite an overlong break due to kennel cough(him) and my usual insane schedule, he's improving again.

So last night we went off to celebrate a traditional Christmas Eve dinner with wonderful friends(postponed like everything else was this past holiday season). We gave each of the dogs a marrow bone and while it did run through my mind that we shouldn't leave them unsupervised with the bones we did so anyway.

A few hours later we came home and proceeded to let the dogs out into the -22C yard. Casey was flipping his bone in his mouth. Except that it didn't hit the floor. The bone had slipped over his lower canine teeth and was wedged on his lower jaw.

Given the amount of swelling and his anxiety, it hadn't been there very long. We moved his tongue out from beneath the bone but it didn't give us enough room to move it back up and over his teeth.

A trip to the emergency vet clinic was necessary. They put him under anesthetic for 10 minutes and sawed off the bone. Casey came home an hour later. According to the vet this is not all that uncommon. The hollowed out ring slips over the lower canines but can't come back. Swelling of tongue and mouth is the most dangerous part of the whole trauma.

Be very careful when giving your dog a marrow bone. Make sure it's too long for a tongue or teeth to get stuck inside. Monitor the dog in case the bone splinters and gets caught in teeth or jaw. Know the phone number for the emergency vet clinic off by heart like I do.

Casey's mouth is still swollen and tender today. He's eating soft food and lots of snow. All marrow bones have been removed from the premises.


  1. Thank God! That was scary to read, but I'm glad he's safe.

  2. Wow, good info to know, thank you. And scary, I'm sure. I'm glad everything turned out okay.

  3. It's a wonder they can sell those things. I bet he's not the first dog that's happened to. Glad he's OK.

  4. Me - it was a marrow bone from the grocery store meat department. A lot of people use them for soup and such.
    A lot of other people give them to their dogs.

    Almost every single person I told had never considered that could happen - including me. Had we not come home when we did, his tongue could have swollen enough to block his airflow. Very scary.