James Buick, of Comber and Ards Veterinary Clinic, is urging dog owners to keep an eye on their pets this BBQ season, as there’s many dangers that could potentially prove fatal to them
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Dog owners are being warned to keep their pets away from a common BBQ item which could prove potentially fatal if ingested.
James Buick, of Comber and Ards Veterinary Clinic, is reminding owners about the dangers of wooden kabab sticks as they enjoy a BBQ in the warm weather.
He said: “Kebabs, homemade and shop-bought are a really popular part of BBQs today.
“And while they’re convenient and look pretty innocent, they are potential killers for dogs especially at a busy party where the dog manages to find a tasty morsel left on the ground.
“The problem is not the meat, it’s not even the marinade, it’s the wooden skewer that holds the meat in place.
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“Injury usually results from the stick being dropped when a party guest forgets there’s a BBQ forager present in the shape of a dog. The dog smells nice meaty stick and wolfs it down.
“But if they chew the stick, it can break or splinter in the mouth which can result in a nasty foreign body in the tongue, gums, check or throat and that can turn into an abscess if not treated in time.”
Mr Buick explained how the sharp skewers can penetrate the wall of a dog’s stomach and potentially cause an infection or peritonitis within the abdomen.
He added: “An even bigger risk is if the stick goes down the oesophagus like a sword swallower swallowing a sword.
“It may make its way harmlessly to the stomach but then the stomach muscle contracts on it as part of the peristalsis that occurs with digestion.
“And we’ve seen cases where a stick penetrates the stomach, liver and diaphragm and ends up poking out of the dog’s chest between two ribs.
“My advice is if you are going to have dogs present at your BBQ, please ensure you know where the kebab sticks are being placed after cooking, or better still have the BBQ chef remove the meat from the sticks and bin the wooden kebab sticks safely and securely away from the pets’ prying noses.”
It comes after a 10-month-old German Shepherd puppy swallowed a kebab skewer which traveled to her leg after passing all her major organs, reports BelfastLive.
After a lengthy operation she was back on her feet and recovered well – but other dogs may not be so lucky.
BBQ food not to be shared with dogs:
Meat bones and ribs, cooked or uncooked: Bones can pose a choking hazard, small pieces can injure gums, lips and tongue and cause internal damage if swallowed. Safely dispose of any bones as soon as you’re finished, so your dog isn’t tempted to sniff them out.
Uncooked meat: Raw or undercooked meat can contain bacteria such as salmonella and listeria that are harmful to dogs, as well as people.
Onions: Highly toxic for dogs, and can cause serious complications from n-propyl disulfide, which can impact red blood cells, causing them to break down and can lead a dog to suffer from anemia.
Owners should also watch out for onions in ingredient lists such as fresh burgers and sausage, pasta sauces, pizzas and salads.
Corn on the cob: Dogs may ingest a large chunk of cob which can cause both choking and intestinal blockages.
Cobs are bad for all dogs, but especially small to medium-sized breeds, who have smaller throats and stomachs.
However sweetcorn itself is actually good for dogs with the kernels full of protein and fatty acids. Owners can remove the corn from the cob and dispose of the cob safely.
Guacamole: Avocado can be toxic for dogs due to a toxin called persin.
Although dogs are more resistant to it, the toxin can still cause some damage to their stomachs.
The majority of the persin is found in the leaves and skin of the plant, but there’s also some found in avocado flesh.
Grapes and Raisins: If you have fruit salad on offer, make sure the dog doesn’t get close to these highly toxic ingredients – even the smallest amount causes serious damage and can potentially be fatal.
Research is still working on where the danger lies, but it is thought the toxicity is caused by salicylic acid which may decrease blood flow to the kidneys.
Chocolate pudding/ice cream: You’ve heard it before but remember that chocolate is toxic for dogs and can make them very sick.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.