Naturally Better Parma Ham bone rated 5 out of 5

I just added this comment to this item but am not sure that it posted so am posting it here too:

I bought some of these for my dogs earlier this year based on the review on here. I gave them to my dogs, who are very used to raw bones so I was happy they would be OK with these. One of my dogs became really very distressed quite quickly and her tummy swelled up so much that I worried she had bloat and took her to the emergency vet. An hour or so later she calmed down, her tummy was OK, no serious harm done. However something had clearly not agreed with her so I threw the rest of the bones away. She had not broken the bone at all, it was fully intact, so it wasn’t a shard of bone or anything like that. My other dog has much stronger jaws and he had started to break his up (I took it away from him) even though it says on the packaging that it will not splinter (it is a cured bone, so it will). I thought it might be that the bone had too much salt in it because of how the ham would have been cured, but I didn’t really know. I just decided not to get them anymore and put a note on the site I got them from.
I’ve just read a post on Facebook from a dog owner who’s dog died after eating a Webbox recreational ham bone. Shards of the bone ruptured the dog’s stomach. Whilst it is a different make, it is essentialy the same product. I ordered the Parma Ham bones from Naturally Better but actually received Serrano ham bones from a company called Mediterranean something or other. So the same sort of bone but labelled from another company and indeed country (Spain rather than Italy). I emailed Naturally Better at the time but got no response. I would ask that you reconsider having this item as a five star product. I love the idea of this being a natural product which is essentially recycling a by-product of parma/serrano ham, but I think there are problems it can cause that make it unsuitable, whether because it is cured (so the bone is unstable) or because the curing process of the ham can cause problems for dogs - and no doubt for the cheaper end of the market in hams, the curing process is enhanced with chemical processes.

Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention. I was not aware of the product. As your dogs are used to bones, I would imagine that you thought these quite safe, especially with them being so well reviewed. It must have been very distressing to see your dog so ill. Thank goodness they are both alright. This product sounds particularly risky but it is a timely reminder (due to the festive season being almost upon us) that all chew items need to be used with great caution. I don’t know of any that are 100% safe.

With regards to the 5 out of 5 score on the Directory, I suppose that this would have been allocated purely on the nutritional composition of the product. However, it is a good reminder that while scores are important, they are not the be all and end all; other factors need to be taken into account, not just with treats but also food.