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Our Sudbury Vet Clinic Discusses Halloween Hazards for Your Furry Friend

Ghosts and ghouls and goblins, oh my!!  All Hallows Eve began as a Celtic celebration where the dead could return to the land of the living to celebrate with their families and loved ones.  The wearing of costumes and roaming door to door began centuries ago as people often left food and drink on their doorsteps to appease the dead.  While the holiday has evolved throughout time, the traditional supernatural undertones are still present today.  At the Barrydowne Animal Hospital, our Sudbury Vet Clinic relishes the spookiness of the holiday!!

After a long evening of trick or treating, children come home to take inventory (and sample) the treats that they have tricked so many to obtain.  We all become consumed with the mystical magic that surrounds Halloween and may forget that these tasty treats can be harmful to our four legged family members.  Often, it is not only the tasty snacks themselves but the shiny wrappers they are packaged in that may cause a potential threat.  Most pets are not fussy and will not unwrap the candy before devouring it!  This can lead to bowel obstructions that would need x-rays to diagnose and, if severe, surgery may be needed to remove the wrapper.   Our Sudbury Vet Clinic knows that this can put a huge damper on your Halloween festivities and may become quite expensive!!  The best solution is to ensure that candy wrappers are put into a sealed garbage container in an area where your pets do not have access.

Glow sticks and jewelry can also be hazardous to your furry friends.  We all know that cats are curious by nature and love shiny toys!!  Jewelry and accessories from Halloween costumes can be enticing to our feline friends and if ingested, they can pose a serious health risk.  Also, the liquid contents of glow sticks can cause pain and irritation in the mouth of both dogs and cats.  Our Sudbury Vet Clinic suggests storing costumes and accessories away from pets.

Overindulgence is not recommended for anyone!  We try to monitor the amount of sugar and high fat foods we consume and we must remember that our pets can be affected by overindulgence as well.  Foods that are high in sugar and fat can cause pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas, and can be very painful.  Symptoms include a decrease in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain and could potentially lead to kidney failure and/or organ damage.

Chocolate is a staple at Halloween for everyone but is a definite NO NO for our four legged friends.  Our Sudbury Vet Clinic wants you to know that the darker the chocolate, the higher the risk of toxicity.  Symptoms to look for include vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death.   Make sure that all Halloween treats are safely stored where your furry friend cannot help themselves.

Xylitol, a sweetener found in many candies, can be very harmful to dogs and cats.  It is an ingredient in many varieties of gum, hard candy, gum drops and baked goods.  If ingested by your furry friend, it can cause a decrease in blood sugar, loss of co-ordination, seizures and liver failure.  Our Sudbury Vet Clinic feels that no candy or treats are safe for our pets and should be avoided entirely.

For centuries, Halloween has always been a magical time.  It is the only time of year when we can unleash the “inner-ghoul “ in all of us!!  Our Sudbury Vet Clinic, The Barrydowne Animal Hospital, wishes you a safe and spooky Halloween!!  If you are concerned that your furry friend may have ingested any toxic treats please contact your veterinarian immediately.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at 705-566-4243 or visit our website at or our Facebook page at

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