Author Topic: Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog  (Read 549 times)

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Offline MParlier

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Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog
« on: August 04, 2015, 04:28:05 AM »
http://www.miamiherald.com/living/pets/article29869126.html


By Patty Khuly
khulyp@bellsouth.net
  
Q: My dog trainer swears by deer antlers for exercising my dog’s teeth and gums, and my Viszla, Mischa, loves them! Unfortunately, my veterinarian says they’re terrible for her teeth. How can this be true?

A: If there’s anything that galls my clients, it’s being told they could have prevented a painful and expensive condition … if only they’d been told to stay away from a, b or c hazard. Such is the case when it comes to the use of common chews and devices designed for dental cleaning or as an outlet for natural chewing behaviors in dogs –– including deer antlers.

Yet when I inform my dog-owning clients that certain “dental health” products can lead to serious problems, many can’t easily accept the notion that dental fractures, gastrointestinal obstruction and gastroenteritis (among other problems) are a possible outcome. After all, they say, how could anything sold expressly to help improve our pets’ dental health and behavior so adversely affect them?

Yet it’s true. Some of the most commonly marketed “oral health improvement” items are considered unsafe, unwholesome, and/or downright unhelpful by board-certified veterinary dentists (and plenty of run-of-the-mill vets like me, too).

Most dogs won’t experience any safety issues with the goods veterinary dentists suggest we avoid. But the old adage holds here: An ounce of prevention is absolutely worth a pound of cure.

Which is why I completely agree with your veterinarian: Skip the antlers. As with cooked bones, cow hooves and hard chew toys, deer antlers offer serious potential hazards. I’ve seen way too many painful dental fractures (most of which require tooth extraction or root canals) and not enough benefits to recommend them, behavioral or otherwise. And given the fact that there are so many safe and effective alternatives to choose from, it seems silly to insist on feeding anything potentially dangerous.

Not sure what your veterinarian considers safe and effective? Head over to VOHC.org, a website run by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Here you’ll find a list of vet-approved chews and oral health products (including Greenies, CET-brand chews and others).

But be advised: These products are all well and good but nothing beats brushing for basic oral health. And when it comes to exercising that chew drive, consider that any chew toy your dog can sink his teeth into will work way better than any antler.

Dr. Patty Khuly has a veterinary practice at Sunset Animal Clinic in South Miami. Her website is drpattykhuly.com. Send questions to khulyp@bellsouth.net.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/pets/article29869126.html#storylink=cpy


~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline Joanne

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Re: Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 05:57:31 AM »
Interesting article.  Thanks for posting it.
Daegan - brindle AM, Diesel X Contessa, Deepwood Acres RIP 7/27/08-8/14/16
Kieren - fawn AM, Dozer X Zoey, Lazy M Ranch 4/6/10
Jessie James - apricot brindle AM, Hunter X Harper's Ferry, Hidden Acres 6/25/12

Offline mobobbie

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Re: Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 07:42:39 AM »
The veterinary dentist I had worked for said the same thing.  Everything has to be given with supervision. The public needs to realize that just because it is sold in a store, doesn't necessarily mean it's good for your dog.  "Flossies" for example--how many owners have I heard stories of intestinal blockages caused by ingesting the strings?  Countless, yet they continue to be sold.   The "CYA"  on behalf of the manufacturer and stores id the "always give with supervision" line.

As far as dental health--broken teeth, ground down enamel--if you wouldn't want to be hit in the knee with it, then, don't give it to your dog.  We give only rubbery Kong-type items and Jolly Balls.  (Yup--Jazz had apainful and expensive to fix slab fracture from a hard bone way back when.) They get destroyed, but, it is amazing how clean Jazz and herk's teeth are from the compound rubbing up against their teeth.
"More wagging, less barking!"
Mike & Barbara, SC

Bueller, silver fawn male, 8/31/04-5/16/13 (until we meet again) Orion Farms Juno X Odin
Jazz (Pooka's Jazzy Dream), apricot brindle female, 11/20/05-7/15/16(now walking with Bueller)Orion Farms Pooka X Odin
Herkimer Battle Jitney, apricot male, 9/08/06 Flying W Farms Lady Marsha X Nigel
              rehomed to us 7/12/12

Offline dmartin

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Re: Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 09:12:49 AM »
Interesting article (seeing as how my two are both chewing on antlers as we speak).  The ones I have are elk antlers and they seem to be softer than most of the ones I've had before as they wear down quite quickly.  Even so I may reconsider and not buy any more.

Kiss is the chewing machine in the house so he always has at least 3 different things in his crate to chew on.  His favourite is the antler, followed by his frozen Cheese Whiz stuffed pickle and then his Kong.
Debbie from Toronto
Captain Kiss, CGN, CRNMCL, CRNTMCL - Hidden Acres Farm
Born May 9/14 to Abby / Bull

Sasha, CGN, CKC, CRNCL, SDS-SP, SDA - Hidden Acres Farm
Born: Dec 10/10 - RIP Aug 19/16
Hunley / Rebel

Sierra - Hidden Acres Farm                     
Born: Mar 6/08 - R.I.P.Oct 26/10           
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Spend your time teaching what you want, not stopping things you don't want.

Offline mobobbie

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Re: Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 09:38:57 PM »
That pickle and cheese actually sounds kinda good!  :happy_jumping:
"More wagging, less barking!"
Mike & Barbara, SC

Bueller, silver fawn male, 8/31/04-5/16/13 (until we meet again) Orion Farms Juno X Odin
Jazz (Pooka's Jazzy Dream), apricot brindle female, 11/20/05-7/15/16(now walking with Bueller)Orion Farms Pooka X Odin
Herkimer Battle Jitney, apricot male, 9/08/06 Flying W Farms Lady Marsha X Nigel
              rehomed to us 7/12/12

Offline dmartin

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Re: Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2015, 07:35:11 PM »
Actually it's not a real pickle; just a rubber pickle that I put the Cheese Whiz into.  Once it's frozen, Kiss will work on it for about an hour trying to get the cheese out.  Because of the issue with his jaw and tongue, he can't get about half of the cheese out, so Sasha will usually finish cleaning the pickle out for him.  What a good big sister!

This is a link to what the pickle looks like; http://leerburg.com/1380.htm
Debbie from Toronto
Captain Kiss, CGN, CRNMCL, CRNTMCL - Hidden Acres Farm
Born May 9/14 to Abby / Bull

Sasha, CGN, CKC, CRNCL, SDS-SP, SDA - Hidden Acres Farm
Born: Dec 10/10 - RIP Aug 19/16
Hunley / Rebel

Sierra - Hidden Acres Farm                     
Born: Mar 6/08 - R.I.P.Oct 26/10           
Max / Savannah    


Spend your time teaching what you want, not stopping things you don't want.

Offline mobobbie

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Re: Pet health: Chewing deer antlers is dangerous to dog
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 08:37:52 PM »
Thanks for the link!  That looks like something Herk would love!  Poor Herk!  we get him things and, as soon as he walks away, jazz scoops them up and destroys them.  My delicate girl...  :yikes:
"More wagging, less barking!"
Mike & Barbara, SC

Bueller, silver fawn male, 8/31/04-5/16/13 (until we meet again) Orion Farms Juno X Odin
Jazz (Pooka's Jazzy Dream), apricot brindle female, 11/20/05-7/15/16(now walking with Bueller)Orion Farms Pooka X Odin
Herkimer Battle Jitney, apricot male, 9/08/06 Flying W Farms Lady Marsha X Nigel
              rehomed to us 7/12/12

 

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