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Cooper presented to our clinic having been constipated for 3 days.  At that stage, his gut was still working and he could pass small amounts of watery faeces around the obstruction in his rectum. The blockage was caused by the bony shards setting like “concrete ”. This happens as the large bowel removes water from the faeces before the stool is passed.
He was admitted and in spite of multiple enemas, the following day his gut stopped contracting (called illeus) as a result of his obstruction.

Unfortunately, we had to give Cooper a general anaesthetic so we could manually “depoo” him via his rectum. That removed the first obstruction but as you can see the second one was approaching also. The next day his gut started contracting again and with multiple enemas, he passed the remaining shards over a few days.
It does not take a lot of imagination to have some idea what Cooper was going through. As a patient, Cooper was extremely obliging throughout his ordeal! Thankfully Cooper has made a complete recovery.
In summary, I know millions of dogs eat bones regularly with no complications, but you must judge for yourself.  If your dogs just gnaws and nibbles at bones it may be fine – however, if you have a dog with a powerful jaw which tends to break up and eat whole bones rapidly or in large pieces we would definitely advise you not to feed bones!
For more information about bones refer to our newsletter article here.

Below: Cooper’s x-ray showing exactly where the shard’s of bone were sitting and the obstruction they had caused.

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