from the entire staff of
the Kingsbury Animal Hospital !!
Holidays should be a time for joy. Exercising some prudence and care can keep it that way. Winter is a wonderful and beautiful season. The ice covered ponds, snow capped trees, children sledding and making snow angels. With a little care and precaution, pet hazards can be avoided and the winter can be thoroughly enjoyed. Here are some tips for keeping your pets out of danger during the holiday season.
AVOID Holiday Food Items That Could Cause Problems For Your Pet
- Alcoholic beverages (can result in ethanol poisoning)
- Chocolate (baker's, semi-sweet, milk chocolate) is toxic. Keep sweets out of a pet's reach. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, and even a single ounce of pure chocolate can be lethal to a small dog. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolate are the most dangerous. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
Don't forget about the hazards associated with chocolate candy wrapped in aluminum foil or mesh netting that can be trapped in a pet's digestive system. By the way, white chocolate has little poisoning potential.
- Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
- Grapes and raisins cause kidney failure !
- Macadamia Nuts cause temporary rear limb ataxia and paralysis
- Moldy or spoiled foods can cause mycotoxin or aflatoxin poisoning
- Onions, onion powder can result in Heinz body anemia
- Fatty foods
- Salt causes hypernatremia. If the dog does not vomit after ingesting, toxicity could result.
- Sylitol as an artificial sweetener can cause hypoglycemia and serious liver effects.
- Yeast dough as it's rising can result in ethanol toxicity.
- Turkey bones left in an accessible place are almost irresistible to pets, but they can lodge in an animal's throat or block the intestinal tract. Remove leftovers from the table and don't leave garbage where animals can get to it.
- Hops from making homemade ale, whether spent or not, can cause symptom's of malignant hyperthermia. Sighthounds are especially vulnerable !
- Lilies that may be found in holiday flower arrangements could be deadly to your cat. Many types of lily, such as Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats.
- Poinsettias are generally overrated in toxicity. If ingested, poinsettias can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, and may cause mild vomiting or nausea.
- Mistletoe has the potential to cause cardiovascular problems. However, mistletoe ingestion usually only causes gastrointestinal upset.
- Holly ingestion could cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy.
HAZARDS AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of the reach of your pets, preferably in closed cabinets. Pain killers, cold medicines, anticancer, drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills are common examples of human medication that could be potentially lethal even in small dosages. One regular strength ibuprofen tablet (200mg) can cause stomach ulcers in a 10-pound dog. Remind holiday guests to store their medications safely as well.
During the holidays, we will be having some limited office hours. In some cases, you may try to medicate your animals without our veterinarian's advice. Never give your animal any medications unless under the directions of a veterinarian. Many medications that are used safely in humans can be deadly when used inappropriately. Less than one regular strength acetaminophen tablet (325mg) can be dangerous to a cat weighing 7lbs.
IF NECESSARY - YOU CAN REACH THE PET POISON HELPLINE AT 800-213-6680