Ruthie, a very cute one-and-a-half-year-old Beagle mix, was enjoying a quiet night at home with an after-dinner marrow bone when her owners heard a sudden yelp. They ran to Ruthie and found that in her quest to lick every last molecule of tasty filling from the bone, she inadvertently got her lower jaw stuck through the hollow portion. Her owners were unable to slip the bone off her lower jaw as it was seated firmly behind her lower canine teeth. It was stuck.

Ruthie’s owners did the right thing by rushing her to Newtown Veterinary Specialists’ 24-hour emergency service for immediate help. First, the emergency doctors tried gentle manipulation of the bone with some lubrication in an attempt to easily dislodge it, but the bone was just too stuck. It’s very important to not force the bone because the jaw, teeth or lips may be injured. So Ruthie was given a light sedative and our highly skilled doctors quickly snipped the bone in two places. Luckily, Ruthie was totally unscathed.

We’ve posted two photos of Ruthie: Before and after the doctors removed the bone.  (You can see the remains of the snipped bone in the doctor’s hand in the “after” photo.)

If you find that your dog has a marrow bone stuck on the lower (or upper) jaw and it’s lodged behind the canines, don’t attempt to force it off as you may hurt your pet. Don’t attempt to cut or break the bone yourself as it can easily slip and cut your pup instead. Keep your dog calm and seek immediate emergency help.

All treats and toys can have their particular hazards, so use your discretion when picking out treats.  However, if you feed marrow bones, you may consider switching to other treats. Hollow, durable toys like Kong brand toys can be filled with things like wet dog food or plain low-fat yogurt and then frozen to provide a safer, long-lasting treat. For more information about Kong brand dog toys visit

Newtown Veterinary Specialists is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide highly skilled medical and surgical services in pet emergencies. Please feel free to call us anytime at 203-270-VETS (8387).

Before & After photos of Ruthie.