Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Hello. I'm afraid that I may not give you the reassurance that you are looking for here. I don't know how large or old your dog is or in what state the ribs were, but the worst case scenarios that you asked for can be pretty bad. The bones could become lodged in the gut and cause multiple blockages, preventing further eating. They could damage the teeth and tear through the walls of the mouth and stomach or gut. (The gut contains food and digestive juices but the inside of the body is absolutely sterile and a tear in the wall between the gut and the sterile inner body can lead to a dangerous infection known as peritonitis). In short, eating rib bones can easily prove life threatening - and that's before I mention food poisoning is which is a separate issue. That is not to say that every single animal who does this ends up seriously ill but there are, I'm afraid, well documented risks. It's hard for vets to give a percentage chance because of course, we only tend to see these cases when something goes wrong, so may have a selection bias. They often present a days after the bones have been eaten. My advice to you would be to speak to your vet immediately with the specifics of the case and see what they suggest from here.