Greenies Could Endanger Your Dog

ByABC News via logo

Feb. 17, 2006 — -- Ruthie Shimabukuro spent almost $12,000 trying to save her pet's life. She says the problems started when a Greenies dog treat got lodged in her dog's intestine.

"I was shocked that it -- that something highly digestible -- would cause an obstruction," Shimabukuro said.

Greenies are designed to clean teeth and gums, and freshen dogs' breath. They are marketed as completely edible. But dogs may bite off more than they can actually chew.

One veterinarian told us preliminary national figures he'd compiled indicated that Greenies were the No. 3 cause of blockages in the esophagus behind bones and fish hooks.

"You only need to hear one bad story, and you don't want to give it to your dog," said dog owner Michelle Ziegler.

After a miniature dachshund died, his owners filed a lawsuit in New York alleging that "Greenies are … insoluble and indigestible."

The manufacturer, S & M NuTec, did not address the litigation but told ABC News that Greenies were safe and more digestible than the average dry dog food.

And the company points out there have been very few formal complaints.

"There have been eight complaints about Greenies," said Joe Roetheli, the manufacturer's chief executive officer. "That's over eight years and 700 million sold."

The company says it's doing a new study that it believes will again prove Greenies are safe.

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