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Dog ate chicken leg
cjh1203 posted:
My husband left a fried chicken leg on the kitchen counter and left the room for a couple of minutes, and our Foxhound stole and ate the whole thing. This was probably about five hours ago.

I know chicken bones can be dangerous, and I'm very concerned about what this might do as it works through her system.

What should I be watching for? When is it an emergency?
Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi cjh1203,

You may want to contact your vet for help or an emergency vet for help. Also the ASPCA website has a poison control center link

for help (it's a user pay service, just an FYI).

If you think that your pet is having an emergency please don't wait to seek help for your dog. Please realize that the internet and this Pet Health Exchange cannot be a substitute for a visit to your vet or a vet emergency clinic so please don't wait for a reply from our vets before seeking help.

- Annie
cjh1203 replied to Annie_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you, Annie. I've been keeping a close eye on her and she seems fine so far. We do have an emergency animal clinic about 30 minutes away and I will contact them if I see any sign of distress.
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Der Cjh,
Chicken bones can splinter and cause perforations of the lining of the intestines. They are not inherently toxic if cooked. The fried part may cause some diarrhea.
I would watch for any changes such as loss of appetite, vomiting, intractable diarrhea (there may be a little bit) and abdominal discomfort. Chicken bones can be seen on an xrays and your veterinarian might do that, in addition to a physcial exmaination, if they were to see your doggie. We would not automatically do surgery to remove it without some signs of problems.
Your plan to keep a close watch and call the emergency clinic is a good one. You may want to touch base with your veterinarian on Monday just to make sure.
Your doggie may do fine, just keep all food off the counter cuz hungry little pets are counter cruisers.
Thanks for writing in.

Dr. Sandy
cjh1203 replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Thank you, Dr. Sandy. We are normally very careful about not leaving food on the counter, and my husband actually thought he had it pushed back far enough to be out of reach -- I'm not sure that's possible!

What concerned me most is that the leg bone has that one long, needle-like bone in addition to all the others that can splinter. So far, so good, but I'm definitely watching her closely.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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