The holidays are here, and now is the time when we are busy wrapping presents, cooking delicious meals, and spending time with family. Among the hustle and bustle, our pets are watching and waiting for an opportunity to get into mischief! Some may sneak a turkey leg when your back is turned, others may take a bite of that yummy chocolate cake, and then follow it up with a nice drink from the Christmas tree water. These seemingly normal holiday behaviors can result with you spending your holiday at the veterinary emergency hospital and all the money you’ve saved for presents has now gone towards Scruffy’s emergency surgery. Here is a list of holiday safety tips to ensure you, your family, and your pets have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
Try to Remember These Basic Tips –
- Turkey Bones can cause stomach perforation and painful constipation. Often times, surgery is necessary to remove bone fragments from the intestines. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, a potentially dangerous inflammation of the pancreas that produces toxic enzymes and causes illness and dehydration.
- Sugar-Free Baked Goods often contain xylitol, which causes blood pressure to decrease to dangerously low levels. Ingestion may result in vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, and liver failure.
- Chocolate stimulates the nervous system and heart in both dogs and cats. Dark chocolate poses a greater risk and can cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death.
- Holiday Plants are a favorite of our pets. Mistletoe and holly pose the biggest threat and causes vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmia.
- Alcohol is for human consumption only! It depresses the nervous system and results in vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, tremors, comas, and seizures.
- Tinsel & Ribbons not only pose a choking hazard (please don’t use them as collars), but can also slice the digestive track and cause intestinal obstruction.
- Electrical cords should be turned off and unplugged when you aren’t home. Live cords can cause burns in or around your pet’s mouth, difficulty breathing, seizures, and cardiac arrest.
- Christmas Trees need to be properly secured, fragile glass ornaments should be kept off low-lying branches. If you have a real tree be sure you don’t add fertilizer to the tree water, and keep pets away from stagnant water sitting in the reservoir. Watch out for signs of vomiting and diarrhea if you know they’ve been near it!
- Holiday Visitors will be coming and going, and this much activity can be confusing and stressful for pets. Make sure they have a safe, quiet space to retreat to if necessary. Elderly and sick pets can be extra sensitive to over-stimulation. Products like Adaptil and Feliway are great to use for pets with many forms of anxiety. Signs of stress can show up as gastrointestinal issues, discomfort, diarrhea, and irritability.
- Imported Snow Globes have shown to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol) in some cases. As little as 1 teaspoon ingested by a cat, or 2 tablespoon for a dog, can be fatal. Signs of ingestion include lack of coordination, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Immediate treatment by a veterinarian is imperative if you think your pet is at risk. Crystals develop in the kidneys resulting in acute kidney failure. Sometimes a pet will not show signs of distress until it is too late.
- Liquid Potpourri is sometimes not realized to be so dangerous for our pets – especially cats. Just a lick or two can result in chemical burns, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Although dogs aren’t as sensitive, it is advised to still use caution.
Call Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant for more information at 843-884-9838.
Please be aware that there is a $39 fee per incident when you call the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-855-764-7661.
If you have an emergency after hours, you can call Veterinary Emergency Care in Mt. Pleasant, SC at 843-216-7554.
AAC WISHES YOU AND YOUR PET A HAPPY AND SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON!