Bully Sticks

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Suzette
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Joined:Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:45 am
Bully Sticks

Post by Suzette » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:40 pm

Piper recently had a nasty slab fracture on one of her large molars that required it to be extracted. I don't know exactly how it happened, but I suspected it was probably just an aberration from gnawing on a beef bone. But when I went to pick her up after her surgery (when it's a large, multi rooted tooth it goes from simple extraction to something more akin to a minor surgical procedure), I asked when she could have bully sticks again and the vet tech said that they frown on bully sticks. They believe that that was what caused Piper's slab fracture (based on nothing more than they know she gets them a few times a week) and she said they see this often in their practice.

I have not heard this before and always thought of bully sticks as a great chew to give my dog. (For what it's worth, I buy high grade bully sticks that are all natural from grass fed bulls.) I did research and could not find one corroborating story that bully sticks cause broken or fractured teeth. (While I'm sure it's possible, I can find no evidence that it is in any way a common occurrence.)

Nevertheless, now I am a bit reluctant to give her another bully stick. Has anyone here heard this before, that they commonly cause tooth fractures in dogs? I'm either looking for reassurance to go ahead and give them to her or a compelling reason not to. :wink:

Thanks!
My avatar is Piper, my sweet Pembroke Corgi. b. 5/11/11

Erica
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Joined:Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location:North Carolina

Re: Bully Sticks

Post by Erica » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:00 pm

:shock: Never heard of that from a bully stick before! I guess if you get the really thick ones, and the dog just immediately tries to bite off chunks rather than gnaw it until it's soft, it could happen...but otherwise that's the first anti-bully-stick comment I've heard beyond "they smell bad" and "my dog tries to swallow them whole." Will be interesting to see if anyone else has heard anything, though!
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Shalista
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Re: Bully Sticks

Post by Shalista » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:03 pm

i havent heard anything bad. only bad thing about them is they make bax thirsty.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Nettle
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Re: Bully Sticks

Post by Nettle » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:23 am

Bully sticks aren't hard enough to fracture teeth unless those teeth were already weak eg from a badly-bred or reared dog - which yours isn't! If you hadn't mentioned bully sticks, I wonder what your vet would have blamed it on?

If you feed bones, stick to ones surrounded by flesh that can be eaten together. That way the flesh pads the bone. Sometimes things go wrong, which is what has happened here, but while that is a nuisance and an expense, it isn't a reason to stop feeding something so important.

Vets see a lot of sick animals but not half as many well animals, and not every vet is up to speed on what causes what. When you scratch the surface, most likely damage that they see is from cooked bones, but the vet only hears 'bones' and not every vet understands the difference. If you choose not to feed bones in the future, that is from your own cost/benefit analysis. But untold numbers of people feed raw bones to generations of dogs with no issues. IMO this was just bad luck.


My vet feeds his dogs raw meat and bones :wink:
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Suzette
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Joined:Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Bully Sticks

Post by Suzette » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:32 am

Thanks for the replies! I won't stop raw feeding, I believe in it and know that it's what's best for Piper. All along my assumption was that the tooth issue was just a very odd occurrence and that's just the way things go sometimes. I have been grinding her food (bones and all) while her mouth heals, but I am sure I will go back to whole pieces of raw meat soon.

As for the bully sticks, the tech's comment about them struck me as odd and unlikely, but it never hurts to ask and get others thoughts and experiences. :wink: I was pretty certain they would be fine to give her again. She isn't an aggressive gnawer anyway. She just leisurely enjoys them. But I am sometimes a bit behind the curve and wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some new data or problems recently associated with bully sticks. :wink:

Thanks for your thoughts on this ladies! :D
My avatar is Piper, my sweet Pembroke Corgi. b. 5/11/11

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