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Holiday Hazards for Pets

Holiday Hazards for Pets
My Pet Ate It, Now What?

Prompt veterinary care can help reduce the risk for serious illness or lessen the chances for complications from injury associated with holiday hazards.

A veterinarian can perform testing to determine whether a pet has suffered serious damage from chewing on or swallowing ornaments, eating fatty or potentially poisonous food, or playing with seasonal decorations. Your veterinarian can prescribe medications to soothe a belly ache or counteract poison, perform x-rays and surgery to overcome intestinal obstructions, and repair  lacerations.

If your pet encounters one of these holiday hazards, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The holidays are fun, even for pets, but the season brings added danger for animal companions. Learn to recognize and manage holiday hazards to keep your pet safe during the festivities.

Tinsel

Tinsel is attractive, especially to cats. Tinsel is not toxic but consuming tinsel can cause serious harm to your pet’s digestive system. The long, tough strands can actually cut through the intestine and cause peritonitis.

Ornaments

Pets love to play with bright, colorful ornaments, but may end up breaking or even chewing and swallowing these fragile decorations. Sharp, broken pieces can lacerate the animal’s mouth, throat, and digestive tract. Larger pieces can cause an obstruction and emergency surgery may be needed.

Christmas Trees

Cats love to climb trees, especially when the tree is indoors and loaded with ornaments and other decorations that look a lot like cat toys. A climbing cat can pull a fully decorated Christmas tree crashing to the ground, potentially injuring the animal. Tree water may contain dangerous fertilizers and stagnant tree water may contain unhealthy bacteria.

Mistletoe and Holly

Consuming holly may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eating mistletoe can result in stomach upset and even heart problems. A cat may suffer kidney failure after ingesting some types of lilies.

Chocolate

A dog or cat that eats chocolate may experience vomiting and diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and, in severe cases, even death.  The darker the chocolate, the more toxic compounds it contains.

Turkey Meat and Bones

Dogs and cats love turkey but this holiday fare may be dangerous to their health. The immediate pet hazard associated with turkey are the tiny bones that, if swallowed, may cause painful constipation or even splinter to perforate the stomach; both conditions require immediate veterinary attention. Feeding rich and fatty food like that served at holiday parties can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even inflammation of the pancreas. Raw or undercooked turkey can contain Salmonella,  E. coli, or Campylobacter bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.

Sage

The herb sage contains essential oils and resins that add flavor to turkey and other holiday foods but this herb can cause an upset stomach and even nervous system problems in pets – especially cats.

Dough

Consuming raw bread dough is dangerous for pets, as heat from the animal’s body causes the dough to rise inside its stomach. The pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating.

Any pet encountering these holiday hazards may need immediate veterinary care for a complete examination, blood tests, x-rays, medications, and even surgery. Make this holiday season merry for everyone, including your pets, by keeping pets safe from these potential holiday hazards.

Sources:

ASPCA, “Holiday Safety Tips.” 2014.

Pet Poison HelpLine, “Winter Holiday Pet Poison Tips.” 2014
 

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After Hours Emergency & Urgent Care

Northside Animal Clinic is an affiliate of the Jackson Pet Emergency Clinic.

JPEC is located at 2815 N. Highland Ave., Ste E. We have a veterinarian and personnel on duty 7 days a week who are trained and equipped to handle any urgent care your pet has. Usually an emergency team consists of at least one veterinarian and several technicians working together to save a pet's life.

Emergencies can be things such as snail bait poisoning, hit by car, and chocolate ingestion. If you ever feel that your pet needs emergency treatment do not hesitate to call or come in immediately. If possible it is best to call before coming in so that a team member can advise you on your particular emergency. JPEC is open all holidays, weekends, and after regular business hours. The phone number is: 731-660-4343.

Testimonial

Dr. Kenneth Edwards and his Team at Northside Animal Clinic have been our veterinary care group for at least 12 years. The longevity of the relationship is due solely to the extraordinarily capable and conscientious care our pets have received.

Mona and Ivy Scarborough
Jackson, TN