I hate to be the glum one, but if something happnened and I had said nothing, I would never forgive myself.
One of the worse 3 things I have ever experienced in my life (I'll spare you the other 2) was at a friend's boarding kennel. Four of us adults… the kennel helper came running that a dog was choking. The dog weighed under 50 pounds, btw. Four adults and we could not restrain and get the rawhide out before the dog died horribly from a big piece of gummy rawhide stuck in throat.
1. Pet Health Info
FROM: >>Seaside Animal Care was recently awarded the 1999 National Practice of Excellence Award (click here for details) from Veterinary Medical Publishing and an educational grant from Pfizer. We are one of just over 50 practices ever to receive this honor!<<
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND GIVING YOUR PETS RAWHIDE CHEWS. They expand when wet and are the number one cause of intestinal obstruction at our hospital. They are poorly effective at "cleaning the teeth". Instead, we recommend chew-safe toys such as Nylabone and Kong products. Contact the hospital for additional information when selecting safe chew-toys for your loved one.<<
While I find it LUDICROUS that they first state they are harmless then say they have seen it ALL, this does indeed support that they are not uncommon as you indicate:
2. >>From the AAHA: American Animal Hospital Association
Miscellaneous Pet Care: Are raw hide chews safe?
Rawhide chews are pretty harmless. The problems come when they swallow them whole. They either choke on them, or the rawhide balls up in the stomach and causes gastritis or blockage. We've seen it all. Moderation is the key. One every once in a while is OK, but they shouldn't be included as a regular toy or part of the diet. In addition it's usually best to supervise or at least be nearby when your pet is chewing on any toy. <<
3. >> From Dr Mike:
Diet - Treats and Snacks
It is interesting to me that a number of veterinarians I have spoken with do say that they have seen problems associated with these toys. Their experience differs from mine. I practice in a rural area and sometimes I think that I just don't have enough patients to see all the problems that vets who practice in more crowded areas do. <<
4. OMG, they sell it yet their vets admit it is dangerous!!!
Acme Pet - Pet Health Questions Ask Acme Pet'sExperts
Q. I have a one year old mix JRT, she is a great dog. But the problem I have with her is that, whenever I give her a chewy like those basted sticks. I have to watch her because she will make it all soft, not bite a piece and eat it. She makes it soft and swallows half while she is still chewing the other end. She has almost choked on me twice. This happens with the square chewees too.
A. I would suggest you not give them to her anymore. Many dogs die of intestinal obstruction each year due to rawhide. Find something else, which is safer, to give her.<<
Okay, this is a petstore, not a vet but thought their concern worth noting!
In addition, we don't carry rawhide chews in order to assure the safest play experience for your pet. Rawhide chews, when gobbled or eaten in large quantities, can cause choking or possible obstruction in dogs. <<
6. vet@dog - Holidays - Chocolate and other dangerous goodies
Dr. Lucy L. Pinkston, D.V.M.
Rawhide chews can lodge in the throat and cause choking, or a large piece may be swallowed, scraping and irritating the throat and esophagus on the way down. Once in the stomach or intestinal tract, a large piece of rawhide can also create a physical obstruction. An additional danger that is less widely known is the practice, in some countries, of using an arsenic-based preservative in the processing of rawhide toys. We recommend that, if you do
purchase these products, stick to brands processed in the U.S. There has also been a recent FDA alert about the risk of Salmonella accociated with dog chew products made from pork or beef-derived materials: refer to the FDA advisory or call 1-888-INFO-FDA. See below (discussion on pigs' ears) for more details.<<
I could go on, to me, the bottom line is, if it is SOMETIMES dangerous, and it isn't NECESSARY, why do it? Your choice, but I did want to share the dangers.