You are enjoying some chicken wings. You get up for just a moment. When you come back, you find your dog helping themselves to your meal.
You know that chicken wings are bad for dogs, so you are worried. What happens when a dog eats a chicken wing? What should you do?
What happens if my dog ate a whole chicken wing?
Dogs are notorious for getting into trouble, particularly when it comes to eating things they aren’t supposed to. Dogs naturally love chicken wings, and will eat them when given the opportunity.
The good news is that in most cases, your dog will be fine after eating a chicken wing. However, there can be serious consequences.
The most common result of your dog eating a chicken wing is gastrointestinal upset. If your pooch isn’t’ accustomed to this type of people food, it can upset his digestive tract.
This isn’t a serious condition. They may experience vomiting and diarrhea because they aren’t used to digesting this type of food. It should resolve within a few days, particularly with some help from you.
Pancreatitis is a more serious condition. It occurs when a dog eats too much fat, sugar, or both. Severe cases of pancreatitis can be very dangerous for your dog.
Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas activates digestive enzymes before they reach the intestines. They are released around the pancreas. This can cause damage to the pancreas and surrounding organs, essentially digesting them.
Pancreatitis also causes vomiting and diarrhea. However, your dog will also be in significant pain. Many dogs take a praying position, with their front body on the ground and their butt in the air, to find some relief.
You may also notice a swollen abdomen, fever, lethargy, and dehydration.
Choking or Obstruction
One of the major concerns with your dog eating a chicken bone is the risk of obstruction. It can get stuck anywhere from the esophagus or throat to the intestines.
If they’ve swallowed the bone whole, or a large piece of bone, this is a concern. The good news is chicken wings are fairly small, which reduces the risk of obstruction.
If it gets caught in the throat, your dog will have signs of choking. They may gag, show signs of distress, and have difficulty breathing. This is an immediate emergency.
Obstruction in the esophagus will cause gagging, drooling, and retching. They may vomit or attempt to vomit.
It’s also possible for the bone to get stuck in the intestines. Signs of intestinal obstruction include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and bloating.
Your pooch may also show signs of pain or distress, because they have severe stomach pain. The stomach may also appear bloated. Hunching or whining are signs of abdominal pain.
Chicken bones, particularly cooked bones, can also cause an intestinal or stomach perforation. Cooked bones are more likely to splinter.
Bone splinters are sharp and needlelike. They can cause cuts, known as perforations, in the digestive tract.
The signs of intestinal perforation include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, depression, and weight loss. Abdominal pain and stomach swelling are also common.
In some cases, your dog may have blood in their vomit or diarrhea.
What to do if my dog ate a whole chicken wing?
If your dog ate a chicken wing, the best thing to do is to monitor them. If your pooch is showing symptoms of pancreatitis, blockage, or perforation, you’ll need to go to the vet.
Monitoring Your Dog
You’ll need to monitor your pooch after they eat a chicken bone. If they show no symptoms, then just watch and wait. You’ll need to keep a close eye on them until the bones are passed.
In addition to monitoring them, you can give them a piece of bread. This can help cushion the digestive tract, allowing the bones to pass through without damage.
Give them a piece of bread immediately after they eat the bone, as long as they are showing no signs of distress. You’ll also need to give them bread with each meal until the bones are passed.
Calming Stomach Upset
You can help your dog calm their upset stomach. One way to do this is to feed them a bland diet. Feed them boiled chicken and rice. Feed 2 parts rice to 1 part chicken.
So, if you give them 1 cup of food, you’ll give them 2/3 a cup of rice and 1/3 a cup of chicken.
You can also give them some over the counter medications. Pepto bismol can help calm your pooch’s stomach. Give them 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight.
You can give them another dose in 6 to 8 hours.
Famotide is also helpful. It is an antacid. You’ll give your dog .5 mg per pound of body weight. A 20 pound dog, for example, would take 10 mg of famotide. You can repeat the dosage in 12 hours.
If your dog is showing signs of choking, you’ll need to take immediate action. If the obstruction isn’t cleared, it can be fatal within minutes, particularly if it’s completely blocking their airway.
If your dog is able to breathe somewhat, it’s best to get them to the vet immediately. This is an emergency. If they are not able to breathe, you’ll need to try to remove it yourself. You may not have time to get them to the vet.
Check their mouth. If you can see the bone, attempt to pull it out carefully. If you can’t pull it out, you’ll need to perform the Heimlich.
If your dog is small, lay them on their back. Apply pressure to their stomach, just below the rib cage.
If your dog is standing, wrap your arms around their belly, joining your hands together. Make a fist and push upwards and forward, right below their rib cage. Place the dog on their side, and check their mouth for the obstruction.
If they are lying on their side, place one hand on their back and squeeze their stomach pushing upwards towards the spine with the other. Check for the obstruction after performing the maneuver.
When to see a vet about a dog eating a whole chicken wing?
If your dog has mild stomach upset, or no symptoms at all, you can simply monitor them at home. However, if they have more serious symptoms, you’ll need to get them to the vet as quickly as possible.
If your dog is experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea, it’s best to get them checked out. It’s possible its simple stomach upset. However, it can also be caused by pancreatitis or an obstruction.
If you notice blood in the vomit or diarrhea, get them to the vet immediately.
If your pooch is showing signs of stomach pain, this also warrants a vet visit.
Other Signs of Distress
Other signs of distress include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and dehydration. If you notice these signs, your dog needs to be evaluated immediately.
How long does it take for a chicken wing to pass through a dog?
Most dogs will pass a bone within 24 hours. However, it can take a bit longer. Most will pass within two days, but it can take 3 days. If you don’t see any bone fragments after 3 days, or 72 hours, then you’ll need to contact your vet.
Since chicken wing bones are relatively small, it is possible to digest it well enough that the fragments are hard to spot. Be sure to monitor their poop for signs of bones.
Can dogs digest chicken wing bones?
Yes, dogs can digest chicken bones. However, they will typically pass some bone fragments as well. Bones can be healthy for your dog, but you should never feed them cooked bones.