Yes, Elk Antlers can cause diarrhea in dogs.

This happens very rarely due to the high levels of protein in some antlers.

Different types of chews can be used to reduce stress and energy levels in dogs.

But due to past incidents, owners are more concerned about the content of treats than ever.

Here’s all you need to know about the content and safety of elk antlers.

Do Antlers Cause Diarrhea?

Yes, antlers cause diarrhea.

This is a rare side effect of antlers overuse and compounds.

It occurs due to the high levels of protein in some types of antlers.

But it can also happen due to frequent or constant chewing of these dog treats. [1]

Toxic Metabolites

High levels of protein can’t be digested by the dog’s guts and create toxic metabolites.

These metabolites irritate the bowels and cause inflammation.

At this point, the bowel is unable to absorb water from the undefined stool.

So the feces goes down the guts still containing big amounts of fluid and comes out as diarrhea. [2]

Allergic Reaction to Protein Antigens

The antigen that triggers hypersensitivity type 1 is a big molecule called glycinin.

An allergic response  is triggered when a food antigen crosses the digestive tract.

Villa shedding and injury occur as a result of it.

Gut Enzymes Deactivation

A high-protein diet raises stomach pH and lowers the activity of digestive enzymes.

This impairs the digestive system’s chemical barrier and reduces its capacity.

Due to the reduction in tight junctions, the mechanical barrier is damaged.

Are Antlers Ok for Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs?

Yes, antlers are ok for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Dogs only consume bit-sized fragments of antler bones when they are chewed.

Their stomachs can efficiently digest the nutrients and eliminate the extra.

Dogs’ good digestion is also supported by their bone marrow. [3]

But it doesn’t imply you should constantly give them to your pet.

Dogs love antler treats, but they shouldn’t rely only on them for nourishment.

Giving them an antler once or twice per week promotes frequent healthy stools.

What Are Elk Antlers?

Elk antlers are digestible dog treats made from elk bone compounds.

They have a marrow core and are constructed from actual bone and cartilage. [4]

They are bony protrusions from the animal’s skull.

They are also quite hard because they are genuine bones.

Each year, antlers are normally shed to make room for a fresh pair to grow.

Elk Antlers Nutrition:

  • Glucosamine
  • Protein
  • Collagen
  • Calcium
  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Iron [5]

Are All Antlers the Same Quality?

No, all antlers are not the same quality.

According to the contents, they were graded into five groups.

A+ Grade Antlers

These are the best and purest antlers available.

They are used for high-end crafts and artisan work.

Antlers of this quality are only sold by a select few retailers and wholesalers.

A Grade Antlers

They were discarded this year or the year before.

Because of recent limited exposure, these antlers appear more on the light-brown side. [6]

B Grade Antlers

These antlers have dried out and turned white from sun bleaching.

They might also exhibit recognizable rat stains.

They are not the safest because they could split or chip quickly.

These antlers are about one to two years old.

C and D grade Antlers

Since they serve the same objective, the final two levels are combined.

These antlers are white since they have been exposed to the elements and the sun for years. [7]

In addition, there is a white powder that is readily removed from the surface.

They’re packed in big boxes and can be very harmful to your pet.

Can Antlers Be Harmful to Dogs?

Yes, antlers can be harmful to dogs.

This could happen mostly due to their hard consistency.

They could cause splinters inside the mouth when they are more than a few months old.

Antlers are made out of elk bone parts, and drying them out could make them even harder.

Small hard pieces can cause hemorrhage and scarring in the oral cavity.

Bigger particles can get lodged in the throat or intestines.

This can lead to dangerous gut blockages that require immediate surgery.

Some types contain high levels of protein which could cause diarrhea. [8]

Long-term intake of high protein causes damage to dogs’ kidneys.

This happens due to the overflow of toxic metabolites.

How Can You Prevent The Harmful Effects of Antlers?

You can prevent the harmful effects of antlers by choosing the right size for your dog.

To be sure that antlers are the appropriate chew for your dog, check with your vet first.

Once your dog has been with you for at least six months, it’s best to introduce them to antlers. [9]

It’s advised to sand down any protruding or sharp parts of the antlers that can cut your dog.

Before giving the antlers to your dog, wash them with a non-toxic soap and rinse them.

A daily dosage of the antler bones should be given – a 30-minute play session is sufficient.

When the antler is small enough that the dog can swallow it, you should throw it away. [10]

You have to ensure that your pet doesn’t attempt to destroy the antler by chewing on it.

Also, examine the snack for any cracks that might have formed from the nibbling.

Elk Antlers Alternatives

If used as chew toys, rawhide and bones remain contentious, as they pose possible health risks.

If you’re worried that your dog won’t be able to chew on antlers, think about getting chews that are stiff.

Choose to chew toys for your dog’s mouth that isn’t completely enclosed.

This lessens the chance of choking while helping to safeguard aggressive chewers. [11]

Always make sure to buy the correct size for your dog, regardless of the chew toy or object you choose.

Keep an eye out for recalls, particularly if you choose a jerky chew product.

Can Elk Antlers Make Dogs Sick?

Yes, elk antlers can make dogs sick.

However, their high protein levels improve muscle and joint strength.

They can rarely cause diarrhea or teeth damage in dogs.

To avoid negative effects, always check the content of the antlers and consult a vet.