Choking :(

Well, tonight Dexter choked on a piece of rawhide for the second time! The first time was about a 3-4 weeks ago, and he managed to swallow it before I even got to him (only across the room). Maybe that time he wasn't actually choking, perhaps the piece he swallowed just had sharp edges. He stretched his neck out and yelped every few seconds about 8 times. BUT tonight my fiance and I were sitting on the couch and he was laying on the floor directly in front of us and my fiance moved and caused the blanket to drop onto him. I'm not sure if it startled him and made him swallow the rawhide or if it was just a timing coincidence, but he stood up, stretched his neck out and started yelping loudly every few seconds, but this time thrusting his head forward each time. I got down and when I touched his neck to face him toward me I could feel the lump stuck in his throat. I opened his mouth and my fiance pulled it the piece of rawhide out. It was scary! Poor baby. I don't want to give him those any more! He loves them so much though, I was wondering if there was an alternative that anyone would suggest…

Well, it's not just the rawhide… anything that can be chewed gets smaller - bully sticks, antlers etc. I think you'll just have to watch him and take it away when you notice it getting to a possibly dangerous size. Just swap it for a new one or a wee treat so he doesn't start food guarding.

We give bully sticks, at least 12 inch, and take away the last 2 inches, before they can swallow. They can't break off little pieces, it is one long, tough chew. I had a major scare many years ago, finally got the rawhide out, but my dog was barely able to breathe. I keep a really long set of hemostats in my kitchen for 'object removal' from dog throats, but since I stopped rawhide I have not needed to use them. The only 'rawhide' we used before we discovered bully sticks was the compressed rawhide sticks, those are way better than the rawhide pieces.

I'm glad you got it out of Dexter's throat. Never let him have stuff like that if you aren't home! A kong with peanut butter is just as challenging!

I've only used the flat strip rawhides, and have never had any issues whatsoever. I think these are less prone to causing issues, as they will end up softening all of the edges of the rawhide when they chew on it. They're especially good for their back teeth, a vet had recommended these awhile back and I have had great results with them ever since. Although I do tend to keep an eye on him anyways.

As others have mentioned, anything can be chewed down to a choking hazard. Best to supervise them when you can.

I am not a fan of rawhides. I think there are better things for them to chew on.JMO.

Since I have posted repeatedly on the dangers of rawhide, the many vets and hospitals declaring them unsafe and not worth the risk, not going to repeat it except to wonder why it took two chokings and you still don't get it?

And yeah, that response is snarky and I meant it to be. Having seen a dog choke to death, and know how horrific it is, I just don't get taking the risk.

I had one nearly choke on rawhide yrs ago, no longer use them. We dehydrate chicken for ours which can breaks up as they chew it.

What are 'bully sticks?'

"We give bully sticks, at least 12 inch, and take away the last 2 inches, before they can swallow." Anne

I have one b that chews all her food 100 times! Just like Mom taught her.

But my BRAT boy barely tastes his food. I have to give him stuff that is bigger & harder. And, like everyone else mentions, I take it away when it gets small.

My bs only get bones when I'm around. The have chew hooves laying around but will only chew on them in the evening when I'm home. Weird dogs!!!:p

@Holly:

What are 'bully sticks?'

"We give bully sticks, at least 12 inch, and take away the last 2 inches, before they can swallow." Anne

www.bestbullysticks.com

I don't give my current Basenji rawhide chews since my last 2 Basenjis used to gag on trying to swallow little pcs years ago. Too dangerous!

I think DexterDex will be safe now. In general, as mentioned, it's best to supervise when they are chewing anything. We also take away the bully sticks when they get too small. Thankfully the 12" ones do last a decent amount of time for us.

I don't ever give them to him when I'm not home, and I am always in the room when he chews on them. And OBVIOUSLY if I said that I won't be giving them to him any more SO I DO GET IT NOW, THANKS. I won't say anything else regarding the "snarky" response. I Usually do take them away when they get too small, but he goes through them so fast that sometimes I don't see when he is ready to eat the last bit- I guess my idea of supervision didn't include watching him and only him for the entire duration of the chewing. The ones that I give are the smallish square pieces, the 12in sticks seems much better and I will try those out. I will be sure to keep an eye out to take away the last couple inches. He doesn't want to chew on toys at all and the rawhide is the only thing that seems to amuse him inside.

Have you tried the compressed rawhide…where it is rolled really flat, and then compressed back together, and cut into shapes. It is usually dark tan, instead of white. And while a dog could still choke on those, they tend to come apart in smaller, more digestable 'sheets' instead of chunks. It is the only kind of rawhide I will use, and I have never had a problem with it. I do take it away when it is 2-3 inches. Some dogs will consume a 12inch bone quickly, some will work on it for weeks.

Also consider that this might be a behavioral thing. A lot of times, a dog is engaging in resource guarding when they gulp food or treats down un-chewed, particularly if they feel like someone is about to take it. The fact that the blanket fell on him, and startled him, then he squawked, then he swallowed the chunk (or tried) makes me think he might be doing some resource guarding. You might see about doing some treat exchanges with his favorite things, to make sure he doesn't panic if he thinks someone might take something from him 🙂

I give rawhides under supervision only and I give the rolled rawhides that are over a foot long. I also give bullysticks under supervison. The girls do have access to antlers. Z's is about a foot long and the malinois' is a little bigger and thicker. They got them for Christmas and are still in good shape. I have not seen any pieces come off the antlers and the dogs' seem to enjoy them but like the bullysticks better. I do not feed hooves b/c they can chip teeth. (And hurt like a #$$%% when you step on them in the middle of the night!)

Well, I am not sure if this is evidence against him resource guarding, but he really doesn't seem to mind me taking his treats or food from him ever. I actually take the rawhide from him while he is chewing if we move rooms or something and he doesn't seem to mind whatsoever. I touch his mouth (outside obviously) and face while he eats treats sometimes and he doesn't react whatsoever to that either. He doesn't seem to ever eat quickly or gulp down the treats, I think the problem with the rawhide is just that the two times he choked/swallowed a sharp piece was that they were too small to hold with his paws and break pieces off like he usually does, so he just put it all in his mouth and didn't chew it enough. I WILL NOT give him those any more though and anything that I do give him will be taken away toward the end of it.

@Quercus:

Have you tried the compressed rawhide…where it is rolled really flat, and then compressed back together, and cut into shapes. It is usually dark tan, instead of white. And while a dog could still choke on those, they tend to come apart in smaller, more digestable 'sheets' instead of chunks. It is the only kind of rawhide I will use, and I have never had a problem with it. I do take it away when it is 2-3 inches. Some dogs will consume a 12inch bone quickly, some will work on it for weeks.

I believe that's the kind I use with my B. It's a darker color. I have just flat strips (squares usually) and Kananga chews them down to basically nothing, and then swallows what's left. I'm never concerned because he never has tried to swallow a large piece.

I would agree there is a behavior thing to it as well. Some dogs will simply try and consume it without thinking about it, so you'd have to be careful with practically anything at that point.

@DexterDex:

Well, I am not sure if this is evidence against him resource guarding, but he really doesn't seem to mind me taking his treats or food from him ever. I actually take the rawhide from him while he is chewing if we move rooms or something and he doesn't seem to mind whatsoever. I touch his mouth (outside obviously) and face while he eats treats sometimes and he doesn't react whatsoever to that either. He doesn't seem to ever eat quickly or gulp down the treats, I think the problem with the rawhide is just that the two times he choked/swallowed a sharp piece was that they were too small to hold with his paws and break pieces off like he usually does, so he just put it all in his mouth and didn't chew it enough. I WILL NOT give him those any more though and anything that I do give him will be taken away toward the end of it.

Perfect! Keep up the good work!

Thank you! 🙂 I appreciate that. Also, the fact that more than once our neighbors leave their trash out and cats tear up the bag so Dex discovered a chicken bone laying around, he didn't even mind me taking that straight from his mouth. He just looked up at me like "Awwww mannnn….Oh, well, Let's continue our walk!" haha.

@agilebasenji:

I give rawhides under supervision only and I give the rolled rawhides that are over a foot long. I also give bullysticks under supervison. The girls do have access to antlers. Z's is about a foot long and the malinois' is a little bigger and thicker. They got them for Christmas and are still in good shape. I have not seen any pieces come off the antlers and the dogs' seem to enjoy them but like the bullysticks better. I do not feed hooves b/c they can chip teeth. (And hurt like a #$$%% when you step on them in the middle of the night!)

Oh my… you have that right... about the hooves....

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