Friday, November 25, 2011

We've Got a Bone to Pick with Marrow Bones!

by Carol Conway, Client Services Representative, GDB Veterinary Clinic

Our California Campus Veterinary Clinic had an emergency case recently, which we thought was worth sharing: The Harrowing Story of the Marrow Bone! This story's not for the squeamish, but it does have a happy ending!

We often have people ask us what’s safe to give their dog to keep it busy – there are so many products on the market, many with obvious flaws, but some which seem innocent enough. And our dogs love them all!

In this case, however, without the fast reaction of the dog’s custodian, the situation could have been painful and costly, and had serious consequences. A dog had been given a marrow bone to chew on, and somehow had worked it around its lower jaw, ending up with it getting stuck behind the two lower canine teeth. The dog had attempted to push the bone off with its tongue and managed to get its tongue caught underneath.

As soon as the dog arrived at the clinic, it was given sedation, and GDB's veterinary technicians began cutting the marrow bone off with a cast-cutting saw. (This type of saw cuts through bone and plaster, but does not harm the skin.) When the bone was sawed through on one side, a piece of metal was used to pry the bone until it broke in half. The dog awoke easily and had no lingering effects.

Needless to say, the dog is now happly munching biscuits! No more marrow bones!

marrow bone caught around dog's lower jaw
sawing through the marrow bone
broken marrow bone


  1. Hi Y'all,

    I'm allergic to so much, so my Human doesn't give me bones. If anyone ever does I think I'll ignore them. That is scary!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  2. I have seen this presented many times at Vet ER when I worked there. Troublesome for sure but at least easy enough to resolve

  3. A friend suggested having a butcher cut the bones longer so the bone cannot get stuck.

    This shocked me! my Am-staff had this exact problem the only difference was they sedated her and was able to work the bone off. She was never so happy to not see a bone. we thought our dog was "special" and not in a good