I posted about this on my personal Facebook page on Saturday, but since I got such a strong response on Facebook, I thought I'd re-post in case it helps anyone new.
Whenever I leave for work, I give Tom Hanks (our dog) a treat. For the last 6 weeks or so, I've been giving him a Greenies treat a day. (We usually fill a Kong with peanut butter and give that to him, but a Greenie was so quick and easy that we made the switch.)
In the last couple of weeks, I've noticed him gagging a lot. Two of his bottom teeth have broken off. He's been having a hard time swallowing and (sorry for the overshare) using the bathroom. On both Friday and Saturday of this past week, he threw up. So I finally called our vet, since Greenies were the only change in his diet.
Once I said the word, "Greenies," our vet immediately knew they were the culprit. She told us that Greenies, like rawhide treats, can splinter off after being eaten. Instead of breaking down like normal food, they stay whole and snap off into sharp pieces, causing dogs to choke and vomit. In the worst-case scenario, dogs are rushed to the vet to undergo intestinal surgery because these treats have gotten lodged in their intestinal tract.
She told us that Greenies are a huge no-no at their office, and that they actively discourage their clients from buying them.
When I posted this on my personal Facebook page, I was overwhelmed with the number of people who commented that have had similar experiences: Greenies = sick dogs.
Of course, I immediately felt horribly guilty that the reason my dog was sick had everything to do with what I'd been feeding him. I mean, who am I, the mom in The Sixth Sense? Poisoning the soup? (Anyone? Anyone?) It's been a little over 24 hours, and since Tom Hanks has stopped eating Greenies, the vomiting has stopped completely.
So here's my Public Service Announcement about these treats. If you've been giving them to your dog, stop and watch for signs of retching, gagging, vomiting or (sorry) constipation. Those are all signs you may need to take your dog in to see your vet.
It's terrible that there are products out there that can be so harmful to our little pups, who feel like family - especially since the back of the box boasts that these treats are "Safe and easily digestible!" But, as with anything, information is power. Good to know before we'd used the treats for any longer than we had.
The more you know!