Why is My Dog Vomiting Bone Fragments?
It could happen that your dog vomits bone fragments or parts of chewed bones a while after consuming them, why does this happen?
Some dogs seem to be more prone to this than others. Some dogs may eat bones with no problems, others may vomit bone fragments hours or even days later.
Often, the issue is that the fragments travel well down the esophagus, but then get lodged in the dog's stomach or small intestine, explains veterinarian Donna Solomon. In fortunate cases, the fragments are vomited back up, but in not-so-fortunate cases, they're not and the dog may require endoscopy or surgery to remove the lodged fragments.
Why Do Dogs Vomit Bone Fragments Hours or Days Later?
This can be puzzling knowing that most foods ingested leave the stomach usually within 2 hours. Wouldn't the fragments be gone by the time the dog vomits them up many hours or days later? Why do some dogs vomit them up in the night or early morning when other foods have already left the stomach? The issue is that these fragments may take a while to be digested, and if a dog swallows them quickly, they tend to sit in the dog's stomach for hours, and by then, the other food the dog has eaten has left the stomach, explains veterinarian Dr. Lucy.
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More Issues Down the Road
If the dog fails to vomit the fragments, they can cause further problems down the digestive tract if they're sharp. As they travel down, they may scrape the lining of the dog's intestinal tract or rectum making it painful to defecate and even causing rectal bleeding, according to Dr. Solomon. In the worst cases scenario, the fragments may even poke a hole in the dog's stomach or intestine, causing potential peritonitis, a life threatening infection, explains veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates.
Preventing Future Problems
Stopping from feeding the dog bones is a very good place to start if you want to prevent future episodes of vomiting fragments. Consider that raw bones are less likely to produce sharp fragments compared to cooked or smoked bones. For the time being though, if your dog ate a bone within the last hour and you are concerned that the fragments may be troublesome, it may be helpful to feed the dog some mashed potatoes or some slices of bread. These foods will wrap around the fragments cushioning them and helping them pass through, explains veterinarian Dr. Scott Nimmo. If your dog though swallowed large fragments that can potentially cause a blockage, consult with your vet at once since if they're still in the stomach, they can be retrieved via endoscopy before causing major problems that warrant a surgery.
As seen, bone fragments can become an issue that can lead to many problems. Because the stomach has a hard time digesting the bone shards, they are often vomited back up. If the vomiting happens though often or you recognize other signs of problems, it's a good idea to consult with your vet.