Dried buffalo trachea chews caused death

Hi. I am new to the site. I wanted to find out whether other people’s dogs have had problems with dried trachea treats? My beautiful boy, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, died in May of this year as a result of one. He had never had one before. I was with him monitoring. He chewed it for 30 mins before swallowing. All was fine until he swallowed it.

Instantly I knew there was a problem as he was gasping for breath. I got him instantly to the vet surgery. They xrayed him and did blood tests etc, kept him in for 8 hours, re x-raying before he came home. The vets thought it may have hurt him as he swallowed it, scratched his throat, caused him gas due to the gasping of air. The following day I was with him all day. Seemed a little better by the evening but still not right as only eating a tiny amount of very soft food . Took him back to the vet’s the following morning. They kept him again and re x-rayed, bloods … I collected him at 1.30 that afternoon. We got home. At 2pm he had a little wee in the garden then I placed him on his chair. A few minutes later there was blood flowing from his nose and his mouth and I think he died right there and then. In my desperation I was driven back to the vets, giving him mouth to mouth resus but he was dead on arrival. The post mortem showed that the trachea ‘treat’ had torn his oesophagus. Between it happening and his death, it had gone necrotic and then fully ruptured. Three different vets had seen the three xrays and the tear had not been visible.

A few weeks later I heard of a Newfoundland dog also dying as a result of these at the same vet surgery, but I believe the owners are not pursuing the matter.
I am trying to communicate with the manufacturers of the treat but they are being very disrespectful at the moment, and denying they even supplied the treat. I am working with Citizens Advice and Trading Standards but may have to pursue this through the civil court. I just want them to look into it.
But if you know of anyone else who has suffered this, I would be interested to know. It could be a random, utterly tragic accident. But two dogs at one surgery makes it seem less likely to be. And very different size breeds. And I have written evidence from the vet to confirm cause of death.
My boy was only 7, and was a happy, healthy dog.

I’m greatly moved to offer my absolute heartfelt condolences to you on this horrendous loss of your beloved friend…

There was really no more you could have done for him and I urge you may later on find a degree of peace knowing that…

I wanted to find out whether other people's dogs have had problems with dried trachea treats?
Having had a dog with thyroid issues, I've avoided trachea due to the possibility of thyroid residue hormones.

You might also approach the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as they may know of similar incidents? The link is here :
Home - Professionals

It broke my heart reading your story, I can’t even imagine the pain you have been and probably still are going through.
I have never given my Akita beef trachea, so I can’t be of any help.
I did feed her on raw food in the past though, and I did extensive research before taking that step: detractors of raw feeding usually highlight the risk of internal damage, while supporters say it’s just scaremongering from food manufacturers. Some professionals argue that there is indeed that risk but it is so low that is statistically insignificant. Unfortunately statistics don’t take into account that every dog counts, when is yours.
Unfortunately I read all these info a few years ago so I am not in the positions of giving you any references.

Thank you Red_Akita and Meg for your kind words. I hadn’t thought of the vet college. Thank you.
And just to say, whilst my boy had not eaten a raw food diet (only due to my lack of knowledge on it) my next dog will be on raw food. But until I get over the way my boy died I will probably do one of those ‘complete’ raw food ones. My boy had been on what I now know to be a reasonable dry kibble. I also want to say sorry to him, for only being on one that was 3.5 out of 5.

I am so sorry for your loss. It is such a tragic waste of a dog’s life. Having been in a similar situation with one of my dogs, I have some insight into how you must be feeling. Luckily, mine was not a product like this and she made a full recovery following surgery. However, since then I have been very, very wary of what I give her to chew on.

I think we have more of a problem with this kind of thing these days because all over the Internet you read about people who vehemently support raw diets, including bones and body parts like this. It is easy to gain the impression that there is no risk. As has been said, the risk might be small but is there and it is why the British Veterinary Associations do not support this kind of diet and the giving of bones etc.

Please do not blame yourself for what you have or haven’t done. You were not to know, or anticipate this problem. The food you gave to your dog was alright for him - he was healthy and happy. Because it scored 3.5 and raw complete diets attract a higher score does not mean that it is better for the dog. Many animals do perfectly well (and often better) on a lower score product. There is no firm evidence that raw diets are better for dogs so please do not berate yourself for not giving this type of food. Give yourself time and when you have your next pup, hopefully you will be able to source a food product that you are happy with. There are many high quality dry, wet and home cooked type foods to be found on the Dog Food Directory.

What a tragedy. I am so sorry for your loss. :cry: I have given my dog a trachea to eat once but I am quite reluctant to feed similar items to her now as she has tried to swallow bits that are too bit in the past and because many of them seem to have worrying ingredients them. Chose a food that you are comfortable with feeding. If your dog does well on it then I wouldn’t worry about it. Please try not to feel guilty. I hope you can find some kind of resolution and get some answers. My heart truly goes out to you.

Thank you Dottie. Thank you Tinyplanets.
Thankfully I have some time (months) before I have to decide what foods I would give my next dog. There certainly does seem to be a lot of different opinions around on the raw food diet topic.

But for now, I think I need to focus on grieving for my boy. He was such a delightful dog, loved me (which is what every owner wants!) and loved playing ball and going for walks. Came with me to as many places as I could take him. Loved being in the car, going on the bus, loved the beach, the park, his grandma and visiting people. He was simply fabulous.

And I don’t know if I am going to get anywhere with pursuing the manufacturer if it hasn’t happened to other dogs particularly. But that does remind me of someone’s comment about getting in touch with the Royal College of vet surgeons. So I shall do that now.
Thanks for listening.

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Sorry to read this, it must have been devastating.