Here are a few reminders of some potential hazards for pets during the holidays.
Here are a few reminders of some potential hazards for pets during the holidays. Small bones can get lodged in the throat, stomach or intestinal tract. Items containing fat — like potato latkes, gravies and poultry skin — can cause severe gastrointestinal problems.
In some pets, foods high in fat can cause pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas). While it can be treated, it can result in death. The top disease in animals over 4 years of age is obesity, which leads to serious health problems.
Chocolate can be potentially fatal. All chocolate — especially bittersweet chocolate — contains a stimulant called theobromine. Ingesting enough chocolate can cause seizures or even death. Even a small piece of chocolate can cause seizure symptoms in a pet weighing 15 to 20 pounds.
Pets like the taste of antifreeze. One teaspoon can be fatal to a small dog, and one lick can kill a cat. The symptoms of antifreeze poisoning are confusion and lack of coordination, vomiting and nausea, seizures and even coma or death. However, since these symptoms are similar to many other diseases, it can make diagnosis and treatment difficult.
In order to treat antifreeze poisoning, a vet must first find out if it was ingested. If that cannot be detected within eight to 12 hours, pets can die. So if you suspect your pet has been exposed to antifreeze coolant, seek treatment immediately.
The best way to avoid this problem is to dispose of and wipe up any antifreeze after draining your radiator. Also keep your pet away from the area where fluid has been changed.
Avoid holiday plants. Plants like poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, Jerusalem cherries and pine needles are some of the more common dangerous plants found in homes around the holidays. Pine needles, if sharp enough, can puncture your pet’s intestines, so keep them out of reach of your pet.
Be mindful of holiday decorations. Tree preservatives, aspirin additives and sugar can cause pets to have upset stomachs. Some cats will try to climb your Christmas tree, so make sure it’s well secured and fragile glass ornaments should be kept off low-lying branches to avoid losing family favorites.
If your cat is prone to climbing, leave ornaments off the tree for a few days to see if he will attempt to climb it. Swallowing certain ornaments like foil icicles and string objects like ribbons can wrap around intestines or ball up in the stomach.
My brother’s dog, a lab mix, somehow managed to get his collar attached to the Christmas tree. When my brother got home, the dog was dragging the Christmas tree around the house!
Secure electrical cords. Be sure these are out of the way so pets aren’t electrocuted.
Look out for escapees. Keep an eye on open doors so that “escape artist” doesn’t take off. Also, make sure your pets have collars and tags on in case they escape. Provide your pet with a special quiet place with a bed or blanket in case festivities get too stressful.
Photo source: Pexels
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