Sudbury Vets Discuss Holiday Hazards for Four Legged Family Members
Tis the season, it’s time to be jolly,
String the lights and hang the holly.
During the festivities please take care,
Some valuable information we would like to share.
To keep your furry friend from having Christmas blues,
Please read our blog for the latest news.
The holiday season is upon us!! Our Sudbury Vets at the Barrydowne Animal Hospital are full of excitement for the season. Many of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and decorating and may overlook some common holiday hazards for our four legged family members. Our Sudbury Vets have compiled a list of 10 Holiday Toxins to keep in mind in order to keep your furry friend happy and healthy throughout the season:
1) Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze) – This product is widely used during this time of year and is extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. A small amount can be fatal and symptoms to look for are lethargy, increased drinking and urination and wobbling like they are drunk. FYI many snow globes contain antifreeze so make sure to keep them safely out of reach.
2) Chocolate – oooh so yummy for humans but a definite no-no for your pets. Our Sudbury Vets wants you to know that symptoms will depend on the purity of the chocolate. The darker the chocolate the more toxic effects for your furry friend. Look for excessive thirst, vomiting and restlessness. There can also be an increase in heart rate or arrhythmia than can evolve into seizures and even death. We suggest keeping these tasty treats out of reach!! If you think your pet has eaten chocolate, please call your veterinarian immediately.
3) Mistletoe/Holly/Lilies – These festive decorations add to the spirit of the season but are toxic to our pets. Mistletoe can cause diarrhea, vomiting, heart arrhythmias, fluid loss and even death. Our Sudbury Vets wants you to know that Holly can cause severe stomach upset due to the spiny leaves and toxic substances. It can also cause drooling and lip smacking and head shaking due to the spiny leaves. Lilies are highly toxic to cats and a few bites can cause kidney failure so avoid these in all your holiday bouquets.
4) Holiday Ornaments/Foreign Bodies – Our Sudbury Vets suggest to pet proof your home during this time of year. Cats love shiny objects so toss the tinsel!! It is not toxic if ingested but it can become lodged internally and need to be surgically removed. String, yarn, ribbons and hooks can also become stuck and cause problems. Liquid Potpourri can add a wonderful aroma but can prove to be problematic for your furry friends. A few small licks can cause chemical burns in the mouth as well as fever and difficulty breathing. Light bulbs can cause electric shock if chewed and bubble lights contain a toxin that can cause depression and irritation to the eyes and stomach.
5) Poinsettia/Japanese Yew – Poinsettias definitely have a bad reputation with our furry friends but are only mildly toxic. They can cause stomach upset so Our Sudbury Vets suggest keeping all ornamental plants safely out of reach so your pet won’t be tempted to have a taste test!! Japanese Yew is becoming more popular in holiday decorations and all parts of this plant are very toxic. If ingested, it can cause dilated pupils, dizziness, abnormal heart rate, coma and possibly death.
6) Raisins/Grapes/Currants – Our Sudbury Vets want your pets to steer clear of these treats as they can cause kidney failure. Furthermore, the toxicity levels are not clearly known therefore it is not known how much is too much.
7) Macadamia Nuts – The actual toxin in these nuts has not been identified but if eaten they can cause depression, vomiting, incoordination, and the inability to use hind legs or stand. Our Sudbury Vets suggest keeping all nuts tucked away from your furry friends.
8) Alcohol – We all know not to give our furry family members alcoholic beverages but Our Sudbury Vets want you to know that alcohol can be found in many places!! Holiday treats such as rum based cakes and uncooked dough that contains yeast can cause alcohol poisoning. The yeast will expand and rise in the stomach and can cause bloating that can lead to a twisted stomach. Symptoms include vomiting, gagging, bloating, elevated heart rate, weakness and collapse. Ingesting alcohol can cause a drop in blood sugar and blood pressure and body temperature. Animals that are intoxicated can experience respiratory failure and seizures.
9) Table Scraps/Bones – Our Sudbury Vets state that any change in your furry friends’ diet can cause stomach upset. Fatty meat scraps can lead to Inflammation of the pancreas, called pancreatitis, and can cause stomach upset, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. This can put a damper on any holiday festivities so stay strong even when they give you “the look” as avoiding table scraps and bones will ensure a happy holiday for all. Please make sure your pet has access to fresh cold water at all times.
10) Road Salt/Hypothermia – While road salt is rarely ingested, it can cause pain and discomfort to the pads on our furry friends’ paws. Just imagine if your pet had a cut on the bottom of their paw and were forced to walk through salt!! Ouch!! Our Sudbury Vets suggest using a pet friendly product to keep your driveway slip-free. Even our furry friends can be susceptible to hypothermia so please take care to ensure your pets do not spend too much time outside during cold temperatures. Remember, if it too cold outside for you, it is too cold for your pet!!
Avoiding these Holiday Hazards will help to keep all of Santa’s four legged helpers healthy and happy, which is our first concern. The holidays are a busy season and your pets can sense all of the hustle and bustle. If you are having company, please remember that unknown visitors can cause stress for your pet, and providing them with a quiet and secure area may help them to settle. Our Sudbury Vets and the entire staff at the Barrydowne Animal Hospital wish you a paw-sitively purr-fect holiday season. If you have any questions please call us at 705-566-4243 or visit our website at www.barrydowneanimalhospital.com or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BarrydowneAnimalHospital. Happy Howl-idays!!