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  • May
  • 22

A Safety Warning

Posted by at 5:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (19)

Tess, a longtime PETA supporter and member of PETA’s Augustus Club, recently contacted us after one of her dogs was unexpectedly badly injured by an everyday object that is found in many homes. We at PETA Prime wanted to share Tess’ story with you in the hope that it will help make you more aware of a possible danger to the animals in your own home.

One recent morning as my four dogs got up, “Joshie,” the cocker spaniel, stepped on the edge of a dog food bowl. It was one of those typical heavy ceramic food bowls that have become standard in the pet supply industry and are common in many homes with animals. The lip of the bowl broke off as Joshie’s foot hit it. His foot came down on the sharp edge of the broken bowl, and in an instant he had a severe cut on his foot.

From the massive amount of blood that was gushing from his paw, I knew he needed to be rushed to the veterinary hospital. The pool of blood in my kitchen—and then in the car on the way to the vet—left me terrified that Joshie’s sudden injury would mean the worst. I called to say that I was on my way and was relieved to see the vet techs meet me at my car. Even they were shocked at the amount of blood in the car and covering Joshie.

Upon inspection of the foot, they told me that Joshie had severed the artery in his foot along with a tendon, a ligament, and surrounding muscles—a potentially deadly injury.

Thankfully, we had reached the vet in time and the doctor successfully reattached the artery, tendon, ligament, and muscles in a lifesaving surgery.

I hope you’ll see Joshie’s horrible injury as a cautionary tale. Heavy ceramic food bowls, like the one that my dog injured himself on, are potentially found in the households of millions who live with animals. Many dogs may jump up wildly near their usual feeding area when they know that their food is coming. The risk seems even greater when you consider that Joshie was not jumping at all and he only weighs 40 pounds! He just hit the bowl with his normal walking stride and it broke. While it may seem like a freak accident, I feel that any dog could be at risk if they hit the lip of one of these bowls just right with their foot.

The pet-supply industry may sell them to make us humans feel as if we are treating our dogs like royalty, but in truth, there is a deadly danger hidden in these ceramic food bowls.

My veterinarian told me to get rid of these ceramic bowls and just use metal, and I encourage anyone with dogs in their home to do the same.

Joshie is home safe now and his foot is in a soft cast after his emergency surgery, but I'm sure he wonders, "What the hell happened to me?! I was just walking to the door!"

Have you ever had an experience with a bowl or other common household item that presented an unforeseen threat to dogs or cats?


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  • Melanie says:

    Years ago, our little mixed breed rescue went into the trash and took out a deflated balloon that had been thrown away after a birthday party. We didn’t know she’d done this until it was, well, peeking out the other end. She’d eaten it and somewhat digested it, but it created a blockage when she tried to pass it in her stool. It was literally stuck half way in and half way out. I’m not trying to be gross, I’m trying to alert people to a seemingly harmless party favor that caused a great deal of pain and stress for our little Pookie. We had to bring her to the vet to have it removed — which didn’t require surgery, thankfully.

  • Phyllis says:

    Razors! After shaving my legs one day I left my disposable razor sitting on the edge of the tub – never dreaming that would be a problem. But for some reason my recently rescue boy Jesse, thought it was a treat and snatched it before I knew what was happening. Jesse had been starved nearly to death before coming to live with me. He had also suffered physical abuse and having survived it was determined to protect himself from any perceived threat. So when I tried to get the razor from him, he showed every promise of attack – and he was a big dog with powerful jaws. (And underneath an even bigger heart.) I was terrified because he was actually trying to eat the razor. Thankfully I got him to drop it by asking him if he wanted to “Go outside”. The plastic casing aound the razor part was actually chewed and it scared me beyond belief to think how close of a call that was – all because I left my razor on the side of the tub.

  • joan sliter says:

    Having two large pit bulls.I found the best for them was the high stand that holds 2 large bowls….

  • cynthia cook says:


  • Lillie says:

    A friend preparing to put a roast in the roasting pan was removing the elastic string mesh from the roast and as she almost had it off found it caught in the meat so that when she really pulled on it, it sprung away, flew out of her hands and onto the floor. Before she could grab for it, her sweet older rescue basset hound, sitting at her feet, had it. She tried desperately to get it out of her mouth, knowing the potential for it becoming tangled in her intestines andkilling her, but that backfired as Maggie immediately swallowed it to avoid losing it. Long story short, Maggie was so old she could not have survived such a drastic surgery as became required when they saw the worst had happened and it was not going to pass through her system. All the vet could do for her was medicate her for pain so that she died as peacefully as possible. They still regret that if they had only become vegans a bit sooner, they could have had Maggie with them a bit longer.

    I read in an animal publication a while back that vets say a dropped piece of used dental floss is the cause of many drastic surgeries to save pets as it is a common cause of intestinal strangulation also.

  • Thank you for this valuable information, Stuart.. I will be passing it on to my groups on the internet.. if it saves even ONE, that is MAJOR….

    Judy B

  • chander kumar soni says:

    thanks for warning.
    i will tell others about this .

  • sandy taylor says:

    Our story was pretty much the same, except it did not sever the artery, just the tendon. We now are back to serving our dogs out of stainless steel.

  • Jennifer H says:

    I’m so happy that he is ok!!!!

  • linda says:

    It would’ve been nice had you posted a picture of the bowl so readers could identify if in fact they owned something similar.

  • Diana says:

    Be careful of string, plastic bag ties, rubber bands, and other items your cat might eat. I lost a beloved cat years ago after finding some plastic sticking out of her mouth.

    I thought I got it in time, but she stopped eating immediately. I got her to the vet and told them what I had found. Still they did other test (not necessary in my opinion) before they did surgery. An x-ray spotted one of those plastic ties was twisted around her intestines. They removed it but the damage was done and she died a couple days later while still in the hospital.

    I had a very large bill and no pet. 🙁

    Some cats are worse than others for eating things like this. Keep a look out and sweep the floor.

    Also watch for antifreeze – it’s deadly and sweet. A neighbor (who is a well known animal hater) poisoned two of my grown daughter’s cat(s) years ago. I directly accused her and contacted authorities but it was treated with indifference. I was told this would be hard to prove.

    I saw the suffering she caused, and got them both to a vet but they died. This is why I want to believe in Karma.

  • glad u saved him. ceramic is easy to clean, but breaks down in freezing temp under 32. sharper than steel when chipped. nice dog.

  • Jane says:

    My neighbor had the cutest Welsh Corgi. She and her two children could always be seen walking the neighborhood and Bentley was always ready for a hello and a pat on the head. One day I noticed they were walking much younger puppy Corgi and asked where Bentley was. She told me that one night the family made some microwave popcorn and ate it while watching TV together. The next morning they awoke to find Bentley with his head stuck in the bag and unfortunately it suffocated him and he passed away during the night. Imagine their sadness at finding their beloved little dog taken from them by what would seem a harmless everyday object that is in millions of homes.

  • vidhyut sharma says:

    That’s is so unfortunate and sad! that why I feed my dog in the steel bowl with edges covered in rubber or the food grade soft edges plastic bowls!

  • Susie says:

    Thank you for the heads up. I plan on getting a dog someday once I’m settled to one place, so I’ll keep it in my mind…no ceramic bowls! It would have never crossed my mind. BTW, your dog is very beautiful.

  • Heather M says:

    Thanks for being kind enough to let us know.

  • By no means use any plastic food or water bowls. Yes ceramic can break and for that reason it would be best to change your bowls to stainless steel. Find the ones with a heavy rubber caster on the bottom so it won’t tip. I know it is extra work, but we should clean out the food and water bowl after each feeding. And change the water daily. Use only filtered water. Never water from the hose outside either.
    Bottle water for ourselves and for out pets should be selected carefully. Best to carry a beverage bottle, plastic #2, 4 or 5. Some plastic leaches when the temperature reaches about 80 in our cars. Since reading today’s warning about the ceramic dishes, I will purchase the stainless steel tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your story. I will pass along your message to all the people who have pets.

  • JT Miller says:

    Oh, my gosh! Even though I once dropped, and broke, one of those bowls, it never occurred to me that they could be a danger to my dogs. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

  • LeeAnn says:

    Most of us toss sticks and balls, discs for our dogs. Fetch is one of the games they love the most, after all. Our Labrador Retriever brought me a stick she had found in the yard and wanted to play, so of course, I threw it for her a few times. Most dogs love sticks to chase or gnaw on and we think little about it.

    After the third toss, she didn’t come back with the stick. In fact, she ran from me to the back of the property as if something was wrong. I followed her and to my shock the stick was lodged in the back of her throat. She had caught in in mid-air and it had impaled her, probably with some velocity as well. Worse yet, she was pawing at it and driving it in even further!

    We have a veterinary hospital just a mile away. It isn’t our usual vet, but I didn’t care, and I rushed her there immediately, knowing there wasn’t a lot of time to spare. I knew better than to pull out the stick, which could have caused massive bleeding. Poor Samantha was gagging and choking, it was very traumatic for the both of us.

    The vet was able to carefully remove the stick, clean and cauterize the wound and send us on our way. She completely healed and I am very grateful.

    I had the picture of the bloody stick on my Facebook page for awhile with a warning to other pet parents about what could happen from the simplest of back yard games.

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