Every year it happens…….The holidays arrive and in spite of all the cautions, warnings, posts and public service announcements our four legged companions get into some kind of trouble. So it is time for the brief reminder. Here are the potential problems we are likely to see during this holiday season:
!. Dietary Indiscretion This is the p.c. way of saying we need to keep our pets away from our meals and the remnants. Typical mistakes include the intentional feeding or accidental feeding (trash cans open, leftovers left out on the counter) of such delicacies as turkey carcasses, left over Chinese food, chicken bones, chips, any and all pork products. These pose a threat due to the possibility of intestinal blockage, pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. Food left out can “ferment” on the counter or even in the garage and grow some very toxic and pathological bacteria. If you think your pet has consumed anything out of the ordinary, call your vet immediately. It may or may not be a problem but it is definitely worth the call.
2. CHOCOLATE !! Yes most of us love it in some form or another. Unfortunately so do our pets. Ingestion of any type of chocolate can be extremely harmful depending on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet and the amount consumed. Once again any chocolate ingestion should be taken very seriously. Call your vet immediately and have the information available as to the type of chocolate, the amount and if you know how long ago it was consumed.
3. Tinsel, strings and things. There is nothing that your kitten (or playful adult) will like more than all of the ornaments, decorations, ribbons, foil and whatever else resides in our houses around holiday time. Certainly all of it can be harmful when ingested but anything that resembles a string or yarn is one of the worst things a pet can ingest. It results in what we refer to (and dread) as a linear foreign body. It requires immediate, life saving surgery and even with intervention can sometimes result in death of a beloved pet. Be extremely careful of any linear object. Cats love to play with them and frequently will attempt to swallow these items as well.
4. Plants Lilies, poinsettas and various types of ivy are common in our houses around holiday time. Some are also highly toxic to pets. When plants are brought into the house ensure that they are placed in areas your pet can not reach. Keep all the labels and identifiers for these plants in a safe place so you can refer to them if needed. Knowing the identification can mean the difference between an expensive vet bill and waiting out a mild case of gastroenteritis.
Holidays are fun times for us, our families and our pets. Taking just a few precautions will ensure that your holiday season is everything you hope it will be. Above all; be safe and drive carefully. Have a happy holiday season.