The lights are being switched on, the John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and even the Coca-Cola adverts are out. This can only mean one thing… in the words of Noddy Holder, IT’S CHRISTMAS!
The last thing you need when you’re sitting down for your Christmas feast in a few weeks is an emergency dash to the vets, so here’s some advice to keep your furry family members happy and safe this holiday season.
The Christmas Feast
We all know that feeding your dogs and cats extra treats can lead to obesity, but how about other conditions?
We see many cases of pancreatitis over the Christmas periods, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea and severe abdominal pain. In dogs this is brought on by too much fatty foods, so think twice before giving them those pigs in blankets!
Chicken and turkey bones are an absolute no no, as they splinter, and can get stuck in your pets’ throat or puncture the stomach or intestines.
Chocolate poisoning is another common condition that we see at this time of year. The compound theobromine is found in cocoa solids and is toxic to dogs, causing vomiting, trembling, seizures and stiffness amongst other symptoms. Keep chocolate well out of the reach of your dogs and don’t forget those chocolate tree decorations!
Christmas cake and mine pies are another hazard. These contain raisins as well as alcohol both of which are poisonous to dogs, and the latter to cats.
Don’t forget, onions and garlic are poisonous to both dogs and cats.
We all love a beautiful Christmas Tree and while having a pet shouldn’t stop you from having one, there are a couple of simple precautions to prevent problems. Make sure the Tree is securely positioned so that it will not fall over when jumped on by cats or even dogs! Be mindful of dropping needles, as these are sharp and can become lodged in your pets’ pads. Wires and cables for lights can be hazardous when chewed, while tinsel and ribbons can cause intestinal obstructions if eaten. Never leave your tree unattended with your pet.
Also be careful with wrapping paper. Although this may make a great toy, especially for cats, remember that ribbon easily causes intestinal obstruction when eaten, as can balls of paper.
There are some lovely house plants available at this time of year, but make sure they are out of reach of your pet.
Poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, yew trees and lilies are all poisonous, so make sure your pet keeps well clear.
With people coming to visit, decorations changing the smell in the house, and extra festivities, our pets can become anxious and stressed. Reliving stress is especially important in cats and your vet or nurse can help, so contact your local branch for more information.
Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a compound that is highly toxic to both dogs and cats. Even a small lick causes fatal kidney failure and since it tastes sweet, your pets may be tempted. Always keep antifreeze well away from your pets, and don’t be tempted to use it in water features to prevent them from freezing in the cold weather.
Finally, we see an increased incidence in road traffic accidents over the festive periods. Make sure your pets are safe, those gates are locked and that no one slips out while you’re unloading the Christmas shop!
Christmas is a fantastic time of year, but while you’re enjoying the festivities don’t forget to keep your pets safe. If you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have done, contact the Park Street surgery immediately on 01482 223688, no matter which day it is!