In the last few weeks we have experienced a surge in the numbers of fractured teeth from antler chews sold for dogs as "natural tooth cleaning". The teeth damaged have all had the same buccal slab fractures of the upper carnassials (see below). Many have fractured so severely that surgical extraction is the only treatment possible.
The advertising typically claims they are good for cleaning teeth, that dogs cannot bear down on them and being safe for puppy teething. Given their hardness (see the fractured teeth page) the damage is the most extreme we can remember. Since antlers are bone our normal advice applies in this regard. See the following information sheetfrom the US Government.
A letter signed by a group of concerned vets and nurses has been sent to the Veterinary Record to warn the profession at large and also to recruit cases for a detailed study. In addition major pet stores and two manufacturers have been contacted regarding our concerns and to request their withdrawal from sale. In the meantime we suggest you do not stock them if you are a practice and if you are an owner with a grievance you petition for redress.