The Dangers of Giving Pets Chicken Bones


Bella the 8-year old Jack Russell Terrier swallowed a chicken bone
Bella the 8-year old Jack Russell Terrier swallowed a chicken bone

Bella is an 8-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. One day, she stole a chicken bone from the garbage. When her owner caught her, Bella’s reaction was to hide the evidence by swallowing it whole!

The chicken bone Bella swallowed was very large. How large? It was larger even than her own leg bones. It  was stuck in her esophagus and caused her to start choking. Her owners rushed her in the Veterinary Specialty Centre (VSCNL) Emergency Services for care.

Bella was immediately brought back to our ICU where she received oxygen while the emergency team assessed her. Once Bella was stable enough for the veterinarian to step away, the owners were updated on Bella’s condition and the recommended treatment plan.

Bella was anesthetized and a tube was placed in her trachea to ensure she could breathe while the doctor worked to remove the bone. The bone was too far down to be seen from the mouth. A scope (a special camera) was used to look down into her esophagus. The scope allowed the doctor to guide instruments in place to pull the bone out. The scope also allowed the doctor to visualize the entire esophagus and check for damage.

Bella had no serious damage to her esophagus and with the bone removed she recovered very well. She was able to go home within 24 hours – where hopefully she won’t be getting into the garbage again any time soon!

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