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Holiday Hazards For Pets – Dr. Marla Hendricks

Well trained dog

The holidays can create special hazards for our pets. Some of the most frequent emergencies with pets at the holidays are related to things pets have eaten. Some people foods that can be toxic to pets include chocolate, grapes,raisins and some types of nuts. Large amounts of onion or garlic can cause life threatening anemia. Uncooked yeast bread dough can rise in the stomach and cause life threatening bloat. Sugar substitutes and sugar free gum can cause hypoglycemia and liver failure when ingested by dogs. Some times food gifts for humans that are delivered wrapped and placed under the Christmas Tree are found by pets and eaten!

Many plants in holiday bouquets are toxic to dogs and cats. Stargazer lilies are extremely toxic to cats and ingestion or oral exposure to any part of the lily can cause kidney failure. Mistletoe is also highly toxic to dogs and cats if ingested. Many other plants including poinsettia can cause serious gastrointestinal upset.

Other common hazards include tinsel, ribbon and garlands which if ingested can act as a linear foreign body in the pet’s digestive tract. Linear foreign bodies create an emergency that requires surgical intervention. Electric cords and batteries should be kept away from pets because of the potential for serious injury of pets chew on them.

Remember to keep your pets safe this holiday by taking a few extra precautions.

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