A dog dressed in costume is seen during the Rio Dog Carnival, known as the Blocao with "bloco" meaning street party and "cao" dog, during pre-carnival celebrations at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 19, 2017. / AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
YASUYOSHI CHIBA—AFP/Getty Images
November 28, 2017

The Food and Drug Administration is urging dog owners to proceed with caution when giving bone treats to their pets after fifteen pooches died consuming them.

“Bone treats are real bones that have been processed, sometimes flavored, and packaged for dogs. Giving your dog a “bone treat” might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” the administration says in a November 21 advisory.

The FDA has received reports of 90 dogs in total becoming ill or dying after consuming bone treats available in stores across the country. The illnesses included rectum bleeding, diarrhea, vomiting, obstruction in the gastrointestinal area, mouth and tonsil wounds, and choking. The FDA also said it received seven reports of other problems, like bones that were moldy.

In order to combat potential illness and death, the FDA recommends working with a veterinarian to determine the best choice of treats and supervising the pet while he or she consumes it, and exerting extra caution regarding bones from food like steak or chicken.

Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com.

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