Vets concerned about antler chew toys - KPTV - FOX 12

Vets concerned about antler chew toys

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Veterinarians are concerned about a chew toy that seems to be gaining in popularity.

Antlers, from deer and other animals, are products that some rave about, but they are leading to fractured teeth in some dogs.

"I have to think it's something about the natural option of giving dogs something they might chew on in the wild, but it really is a bad option," said Dr. Liz Hardesty, with the Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital in Beaverton, about the popularity of the antler products. "I see people in the exam room every day who are surprised when I say, ‘No chewing on antlers.'"

Hardesty and several other Portland-area vets said several veterinary organizations have released statements against chew toys as hard as antlers, but she said misperceptions are still common. She also said even dogs who have chewed on antlers successfully in the past are susceptible to fractured teeth. The repairs can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

"I was very surprised that they were a problem because so many places tout them for being such a great thing," said Sarah Harpole, the spouse of a Fox 12 employee, whose dog fractured a tooth on a deer antler product. "Honestly, I think that the places that are selling them have no idea either."

Fox 12 reached out to several stores and antler distributors for comment, but the messages were not returned Tuesday.

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