Once again, as the holiday season approaches, it is time to keep a closer watch on our pets with all the tempting things that will be around. It is impossible to list all of the missteps taken by our canine and feline friends over the years, but it is worth listing a few just to get all of us pet owners in the right frame of mind. Now is the time to become much more vigilant in keeping track of our buddies while we are busy preparing for the holidays. If you have an unusual story in which your pet had become medically challenged during a holiday season in the past, we would love to hear from you. In the meantime here are a few of the most common traps our four legged friends have fallen into around Thanksgiving and beyond.
1. Felines love strings and things. Unfortunately those long stringy toys (strings, ribbons, elastics and the like) are often swallowed and never move on past the stomach or intestines. After all, who wants to have their favorite kitty (or pup) spend the holiday on a surgery table having foreign objects removed from their innards?
2. What happened to that turkey carcass? The big dog with the long reach was last seen running the other way with something in his mouth. Once again, often things that go in, don’t find their way out and surgery becomes the only solution.
3. Food, food and more food is generally a theme of the holidays. And who is right there at your feet while you at carving the turkey? The family feline and perhaps her canine friend. Although a small morsel of white meat probably won’t upset the digestive tract, too much of a good thing rarely works out well. Pancreatitis, a serious illness that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pain and even result in diabetes, often will rear it’s ugly head within hours to days of a holiday celebration. We will certainly see several cases of this disease within a week or two of Thanksgiving. Although high fat treats such as chicken skin, dark meat, or morsels of fatty ham are often implicated in causing pancreatitis, the reality is that nearly any new or novel food that your pet is not accustomed to, can cause an onset of this nasty condition.
4. Holiday bouquets….after all what is a Thanksgiving table without a floral centerpiece? How about some lilies? Or maybe a poinsettia to welcome in the season? And who finds a centerpiece more enticing than the friendly feline who might just jump up and munch doen when no one is around? Lilies and poinsettias are not the only highly poisonous holiday plants. There are lists of them. With that in mind, make sure that any decorative plants are off limits to the four legged ones in your household.
5. Chocolates, tree decorations such as tinsel, Christmas tree water, turkey scraps left at room temperature too long, oil from a turkey fryer….the list goes on and on. Any of these can be quite serious
The holidays are now upon us. It is time to celebrate with friends, family and our four legged companions. Let’s make sure that all the fun and fanfare does not distract us from being the careful pet owners we need to be. Enjoy the season, and if we should see you during the next several weeks, hopefully it is with a new puppy or kitten. That will be more fun for all of us.