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Christmas with your pets!

December 13, 2013

The holiday season is a busy one for everyone and we’d like to remind you to take extra care with your pets at this time of year. There are many things we have around the house during the silly season that can be harmful to animals.

One of the main emergency admissions to the veterinary hospital over the Christmas and new year’s period is the ingestion of chocolate. Small amounts of chocolate, especially dark, can be toxic to dogs and cats. It can cause panting, salivation, tummy upsets and if they eat enough it can cause muscle tremors, convulsions and even death! Make sure you keep chocolates well out of reach and if you put any chocolate on your tree make sure it is high up. Just be aware, some dogs will go to the extent of pushing the tree over to get to the goodies!!
Other baubles and decorations on trees and around the house can also cause problems if ingested. Shiny round balls can make attractive toys but if swallowed can become stuck and if they break can cause serious damage. Tin foil used to cover foods and then thrown out can smell very attractive and seem like a nice nibble for dogs. Unfortunately as its indigestible it is likely to cause an obstruction. The same is true for the netting around roasts. Even bones, cooked as well as uncooked can cause an obstruction so be careful how you dispose of these. Corn cobs are great over the summer but if the cob is swallowed it can easily cause an obstruction.
Everyone likes to indulge on Christmas day and it is natural to feel that the animals should be included in this indulgence. Ham and other cured meats contain a lot of salt as well as a lot of fat. This can cause a condition called pancreatitis in dogs which is severely painful and can be life threatening. The same is true for feeding the dog and cat left overs from the Christmas meal/bbq. There are many foods that we enjoy and eat regularly which when fed to cats and dogs can be toxic. Grapes, raisins onions, avocados, garlic and chocolate as mentioned before are some of the foods that should not be fed to your pets. It is best to buy specific dog and cat treats if you want to be able to give your pet a special treat over the holidays.
Keep flowers and plants out of reach of pets, lilies in particular are very toxic.
From all of us at Matamata vets we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2014.