As wonderful and festive as the holidays are, there are some hidden dangers out there for our pets that you may not think of right away. Here are a few holiday items that we need to be mindful of around our pets.
1. TINSEL/GARLAND/RIBBON – While these things are beautiful and decorative, they can be very serious problems if your pet decides to eat them. No, they aren’t poisonous, but they could possibly get wrapped around the tongue and/or anchored in the stomach making them unable to pass. As the intestines contract and try to move the objects thru, they can actually start to cause severe damage to the intestinal tract. This is an emergency and needs surgery right away.
2. HOLIDAY PLANTS – The pine needles on your Christmas tree can cause irritation in the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Holly and Poinsettias can cause vomiting, diarrhea and depression. But, the most dangerous plant for your pet is MISTLETOE!! While it may get us humans a kiss, to our pets it can cause severe vomiting, difficulty breathing, fainting, erratic behavior, hallucinations and death.
3. FOOD – We all know chocolate is dangerous for our pets but not all chocolate is the same. Different types of chocolate contain different levels of fat, caffeine and the substance methylxanthines. Which is why if your dog eats a handful of milk chocolate M&M’s we may not be as concerned as if he/she were to eat a tiny piece of dark chocolate, such as Baker’s Chocolate, which carries a much higher risk of toxicity. Depending on the type of chocolate ingested, your pet may experience vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors, seizures and possibly death. Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis; which most of the time earns them a stay in the hospital for a few days. It is also important to know that Macadamia Nuts and moldy Chestnuts and Walnuts are toxic.
There are lots of things out there that can harm your beloved furry family member but if you take the concerned necessary precautions everyone will have a holly, jolly holiday!
If you do think your pets may have gotten into something they shouldn’t have, please contact Bellevue Animal Hospital at (419) 483-6345 or Sandusky Animal Hospital at (567) 256-3615 with any symptoms you may be concerned about and we will be glad to help you and your loved one out!
-Blog Post Written By Andrea Warner, RVT