'tis the Season

posted: by: Monique P Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

With Christmas and New Year's around the corner, everyone is getting into the hustle and bustle with shopping, decorating and baking.  Everyone is excited, even your furry family members. Keep in mind that even in this happy time, there are dangers that can be lurking in this bright and festive season.

Decorations/Ornaments: Even though tinsel is not toxic to pets, it's shiny, dangling decoration reflects light with the slightest draft creating fun and excitement to our furry loved ones, especially cats.  Like ribbon and thread, tinsel if ingested and not caught in time can bundle and twist inside your pets intestines creating a foreign body that can be fatal, and requiring immediate veterinary care.

Owner's also like to give their pets a holiday groom, and possibly dress them up for the holidays. A popular accessory that families like to place on their pets are a nice, fancy ribbon around there necks instead of a collar. This is a cute touch, but beware that this could become a choking hazard.

The Christmas Tree:  An object of fascination and curiosity to our pets.  Make sure the tree is properly anchored and keep fallen pine needles off of floor. If these needles are ingested, it can cause irritation of the mouth and may cause vomiting and diarrhea.

To keep your pet safe from ingesting and breaking ornaments, place all breakable, paper, and baked ornaments higher on the tree. This will prevent any sharp edges that may lacerate your pet's mouth, throat and intestines, and also prevent choking hazards.

Food:  It is not the holidays without yummy food.  
Chocolate, as tasty as it is contains various levels of fat, caffeine and methylxanthines. Rule of thumb, the darker and richer the chocolate, the higher the risk of toxicity. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, dogs might experience vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors, seizures, or even death!
Fat trimmings, bones, and left overs are dangerous for dogs and cats. Fat trimmings from meat, both cooked and uncooked, may cause a condition called pancreatitis. Bones can be a choking hazard and chunks of bone, or bones splinters and cause obstructions or damage of your dog's digestive system
Baked goods and candies are a popular treat to have lying around the house for guests at main functions.  Some of the treats contain certain nuts that should not be given to pets such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios. These nuts can cause an upset stomach or an obstruction of your dog's throat and/or intestinal tract. Macadamia nuts and moldy walnuts can be toxic, causing seizures or neurological signs. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of nut ingestion.
Holiday beverages are on the menu, be certain to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma.

ASPCA "Holiday Safety Tips"; https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips
Veterinary Pet Insurance "Top 5 Holiday Dangers"; http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-articles/pet-health/Top-5-Holiday-Dangers-to-Pets.aspx