September 25, 2012

Just Say NO to Rawhide!

Please, PLEASE don't give your dogs rawhide toys! They are very dangerous and can cause severe stomach problems and even death from obstruction or choking. Here are some emails that just came through on the Vizsla Yahoo email list earlier today:

"...Heidi died last night due to a rawhide caught in her esophagus.  She was in surgery and they removed it but she did not recover. 
   I stopped giving Zoe rawhides after my vet told me she had done too many emergency operations removing them.  (She told me to give Zoe the bully sticks instead because they crumble rather than become long shreds like the rawhide.)  Heidi's rawhide was one that was tied in a knot but Heidi had chewed it until it was soft and became untied and then she swallowed it.
  [The owner] was devastated because she had to make the decision to take Heidi off the ventilator.  Too sad.  But at least Heidi was older and had had a good life."

"...please listen to those who have dealt with this and just say no... I have personally saved two Vizslas from choking on rawhide chews in the past 10 years, the shape is of no matter once they get slimy and pliable. THANK god I have very small hands and I was able to go in, The piece of rawhide that was blocking his airway was quite far down and this Vizsla was no longer passing air. This was not my V, I was dog sitting and the owners insisted on bringing those for him. I just about had a heart attack, it happened RIGHT in front of me. I've witnessed some dogs get especially careless when another dog comes along and they think they have to cram it all in their mouths before the other dog gets there. Horrible. I was very lucky, so were they. It's very easy to make the situation worse and push it further down the throat since rawhide gets so slick. But I knew there was no way we would make it to a Vet in time. This is what you will have to deal with if there is an accident, I say no thank you."

Not only are they dangerous, are you aware of the process used to create rawhide treats?

"The Lime solution is the quickest and most often utilized by manufacturers. This utilizes ordinary builders powdered (hydrated) Lime. The hide soaks for 1-3 days and the hair is scraped off. This process is highly caustic but the most efficient for mass production. To remove all traces of the Lime solution and to sanitize the rawhide product, commercial makers then rinse the hides in a bleach solution before creating whatever shape is to be used. The bone and other shapes used to attract you and your pet are created while the hide is still wet.  The “treats” are then either dried or sent for “smoking” to further entice the unsuspecting owner and pet." - (Dane Angel Network)

 There are many other chew toys available that are much safer for your pets:

- Bully sticks

- Large, raw bones
- Kong toys 

Cooper enjoying a tasty raw marrow bone!

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