View Full Version : Scary....about swallowing bully sticks...please read!

31st May 2008, 02:45 AM
The dogs were chewing happily on bully sticks yesterday as I was in the kitchen doing dishes. All of a sudden I looked over at Casey and she had the bug-eyed look and I knew she had swallowed it. So I ran over there and held my face to her nose and she wasn't able to breathe! There was NO air coming from her mouth or nose. I screamed at my husband to call the vet as I massaged her throat from her chest up to her mouth. Her tongue was turning blue! Suddenly it came up and was still 5" long!!!!!! :eek:

I panicked, needless to say. What would I have done if it hadn't come back up? There's no way I would have been able to get her to a vet in time...she would have choked to death in the car. There's the heimlich (spelling?) for humans, but what do you do to dogs if they're choking? Advice please so I know what to do if this ever happens again (no more bully stix for my crew!)

Cathy T
31st May 2008, 03:44 AM
I don't allow bully sticks here anymore because of exactly that reason. Neither of mine has the discipline to just chew on it...they both have to inhale it. That's so scary that it was a full 5" long!! :eek:

Here's a link I found: http://www.wikihow.com/Save-a-Choking-Dog

There have been a couple of times when my two have had something stuck and I've been able to open their mouths and pull it out. Jake choked on a piece of jerky like that once....once was enough, no more jerky.

I'm so glad she is okay. Must have scared you to death!!

31st May 2008, 03:52 AM
Cathy- thanks for that link...very helpful! I am not very good in emergency situations, as I tend to panic like in this case. Yes, Casey tends to swallow everything whole. I thought I had finally found a chew she would actually chew! Normally, I stick my hand in and pull whatever it is, out. This time was really scary, though, since she was not breathing and wasn't even able to cough or anything plus it was so far down I couldn't touch it with my hand...I was in tears.

Thanks again, I'm adding it to my bookmarks along with the CPR video to keep handy.

31st May 2008, 04:48 AM
Oh my goodness, that must have been so scary!!! That's why I posted about safe chewies a few months ago. I was afraid of that very thing. Merricks bully sticks were listed as safe to give so I got some for her. (She usually chews on them for a minute or two then she hides them for later.) I always pull them when they get to about 3" but your dog choked on a 5" piece! Okay, no more of those either.

I keep reading about dogs choking on so many things that seem to be okay, it makes me really paranoid to give her anything. Food treats are one thing but dogs need to have things that are longer term chewables. What is safe to give? :confused:

31st May 2008, 07:36 AM
Yes it is VERY scary, after experiencing the same thing I wont give mine those chews. I hope both you and Casey are felling better now.:)

Barbara Nixon
31st May 2008, 10:56 AM
I don't give hide chews either, after two close shaves with Monty swallowing soggy large pieces.

31st May 2008, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the warning post and Cathy thanks for the link for a safety maneouvre. It's a good reminder to people to always keep an active eye on dogs with any kind of chews and to be cautious with what is given to gulpers. I always take pieces away when they get down to stubs. I also like the flat rawhide sheets precisely because they are big rectangles that are very difficult to swallow or chew a piece off of.

As an aside, I read recently that a Heimlich-like approach should only ever be the last resort as it is easy to crush a dog's chest -- break ribs which could puncture a lung etc -- so always try to retrieve the piece first.

This link has some good advice on various types of chews:


Stuffed kongs make a good alternative or those stuffed baked bones that don't splinter.

31st May 2008, 01:41 PM
Yes, these were the Merrick brand Bully Sticks, which up to now we've had really good luck with! They last a really long time and the dogs love them. I don't know why she chose to swallow it whole. :( She hasn't done that before with the bully sticks.

All other rawhide she will try to swallow. The compressed rawhide seem to be the best solution, but she's not as interested in them. Perhaps I will try some bones instead. I want them to have some chew time, and it's unfair to give the others something and not Casey but she has this terrible habit... :bang:

1st June 2008, 03:18 AM
Bully sticks come in "flossies" which have a spiral shape that would be much harder to swallow any huge length. How scary though! I'm glad she's OK.

1st June 2008, 03:47 AM
It is unbelievably scary :(. Caution with Flossies-Annie choked badly on one and I had to get her to the Vets and he had to use a forcep to extract it. Some dogs are poor chewers, I think.

Gingers Mommy
1st June 2008, 04:28 AM
Wow is that very scary. Im glad you were able to massage it out of her.
I give Ginger flossies- and because I always feared this outcome, I actually end up holding the bottom of it for most of the chew time (resulting in a stinky hand-but better than any alternative)

1st June 2008, 01:07 PM
I had a similar experience with hide chews. I have long since stopped using the 5 inch pencil type hide chew or even the 5 inch , thicker cigar chew but I did think the 10 inch cigar chew would be OK.
My girl was enjoying her chew, I called her to go upstairs to bed,she followed me quickly. After about 5 minutes she began retching and produced the solid chew about 5/6 inches long and carried on where she left off! Or so she thought ,I rapidly removed the chew much to her disgust.
I still use the 10 inch chews as they give my girls so much pleasure but I watch like a hawk now!!