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Vet Advice to Keep Your Cat or Dog Safe This Christmas

 advice to keep your pet safe at christmas

Avoid a Trip to your Local Vets With Our Christmas Vet Advice


Christmas is a Minefield for Furry Friends, so Avoid the Hazards by Reading Our Festive Vet Advice.


Christmas is on its way once again – so read our vet advice to make sure your pets are safe this festive season. It is the time of year when our homes change into a minefield of potential hazards for our furry friends with the increased risk for an emergency trip to the vet. With the introduction of strange trees and plants, decorations, presents, foods and visits from elderly relatives like Grandpa Bert, who’s on heart and arthritis meds (which can get dropped on the floor), all of which can be a temptation to our pet. At such a hectic time with many distractions it is easy to see how our pets may not be observed as closely.


Lots of people are not aware that much of the food that we enjoy at Christmas can be potentially harmful for our pets. Top of the list are chocolate, dried grapes (raisins, sultanas and currants) and onions (and other members of the onion family such as garlic and leeks).


With regard to chocolate, in general terms the darker the chocolate is the more toxic it is. Many people may know that chocolate is toxic to dogs but few may realize that it is also toxic to cats, rodents and rabbits. In all these species it can cause multi-organ failure. Whilst some dogs seem to tolerate a few grapes some can develop kidney failure after only a single raisin or grape. So any food containing dried fruit such as cakes, pudding and mince pies should be kept out of reach. Onions are especially toxic when cooked and are commonly found in gravy and stuffing.


Other foods to be wary of are nuts particularly peanuts and macadamia nuts especially worse if covered in chocolate! Artificial sweeteners (xylitol) in extreme cases can cause liver failure. Watch for bin diving as mouldy foods such as bread and cheese can contain toxins which can be potentially fatal.


It’s generally better news as far as Christmas trees and plants are concerned. Any problem with Christmas trees is generally from choking or blockages from the needles. Holly can cause scratches of the mouth and throat whilst mistletoe and ivy can induce sickness and the latter can cause death in rabbits. Poinsettias are known to be particularly harmful to cats.


Decorations on the tree can be bad news – from glass baubles to tinsel that can cause obstruction of the intestines. Even crepe wrapping paper can give us a shock as it stains the mouth red!


Watch out for the presents under the tree as many contain batteries that if ingested run the risk of internal burns from corrosion or blockage.


Don’t forget to keep the hangover cures out of pets reach. Notably, paracetamol is particularly toxic for cats and ibuprofen for dogs.


Any unusual change in behaviour such as lethargy, muscle twitches, vomiting and diarrhoea are indicative that all is not well. If you suspect your pet has eaten something harmful, do not attempt to make them sick. Call your vet immediately for advice. If possible have the details of product to hand for example: name, strength, amount ingested, take the container with you to the vets if possible.


Finally, Christmas should be a happy time of year. Of course, our pets enjoy spending time with us, playing with their own toys – which you can purchase from Mole Valley Farmers - or going for a favourite walk. By remaining observant and keeping pets out of harms way, we can all enjoy a healthy and relaxing festive period.


Advice complied by Emma Ley MRCVS




Source Details

Newsletter 607 - Emma Ley MRCVS

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