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Ask Bondi Vet - Are dog bones safe?

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hi there and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance. My names Pete Lazer, joined by one of our Bondi vets in Dr. Danni. Danni thanks for joining us. This is the time where we get to answer all of your questions about your pets at home and Alex has asked an age old question:

“Are dog bones safe? I always hear people talking about how you should never give your dog cooked bones because they can splinter. Is this true? ”.

The old, bone dilemma.

Dr Danni Dusek - Yes, it is a bit of a dilemma that continues to be discussed. So certainly spot on about the cooked bones, we definitely want to avoid cooked bones under all circumstances. They have an increased risk of splintering and that can lodge and penetrate through your dog's esophagus, their gut and cause a life threatening situation. So absolutely well done no cooked bones.

Pete Lazer - Cooked bones are out. What about raw bones?

Dr Danni Dusek- Raw bones certainly are a better option than a cooked bone, but they are not without risk. So it is really important that you are aware of those risks if you are deciding to feed your dog a raw bone. So things that can happen is that they can fracture their teeth, they can get a bit of bone lodged in their gut which can cause a surgical emergency. They can also end up severely constipated. There's also the risk of getting infectious diseases as well, so some gastritis or potentially even neurological diseases, that are carried in that raw meat around the bone. So there’s a lot of risks to consider, so just need people to be aware of them.

Pete Lazer - Ok so being aware of those problems, what if the heart is set on bones.

Dr Danni Dusek - If you are dead set on bones and there’s just no two ways about it then certainly knowing the safest way to give that bone is important. So my suggestion would be to make sure your bone is an appropriate size for your dog, so that’s something that maybe chatting to your vet would be a good idea. MAking sure there is a little bit of meat or cartilage on the bone for the dog to really rip off and and naw at, cause that is going to be doing all the abrasive action on the teeth. Once all that has been removed from the bone through, you really want to get that bone away from the dog. You don’t want them to actually ingest the bone itself. So that will help avoid a lot of the risks

Pete Lazer - What about other solutions? From a dental control point of view , but also in an enrichment point of view as well?

Dr Danni Dusek - Perfect! I guess if you are feeding raw bones cause you think it’s the only really way to keep your dog’s teeth cleaned, there’s lots of other options out there these days. So certainly your gold standard is brushing your dog’s teeth everyday, it’s not for everybody but that’s going to do the best job in keeping your teeth in good shape. Other options are some fantastic dental dry foods that are specifically designed to sort of fracture up the tooth so that its really abrasive on the tooth itself. As far as other options for enrichment, cause certainly a lot of other dogs just love to have a good old chew on the bone. There’s treat dispensing toys which are fantastic and they really make the dog think and have to figure out how they are going to get the food out so it can be even more satisfying to them, to use their brain at the same time. So that’s probably a good other option then bones for that enrichment purpose.

Pete Lazer - If you’ve got a questions get onto our Bondi Vet Facebook page of course on the website We’ll be back with another episode of Ask Bondi vet very soon, bye for now.

Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!