Everyone at Tern Vets is starting to get excited about Christmas! We can’t wait to spend time with our loved ones –and this includes our pets! But during the Christmas period we do see dogs and cats that have got a little too involved in the festive spirit and become very poorly. So please be careful and look out for these things!
The Christmas Dinner
An essential part of Christmas dinner is the sage and onion stuffing. But did you know that onions and garlic can be poisonous to dogs and cats? They can cause gastroenteritis and red blood cell damage that causes anaemia.
We want to treat our pets but please don’t be tempted to give them bones. Cooked turkey bones can splinter when eaten, causing internal damage and intestinal blockages that can require emergency surgery.
Cooking for lots of people can be stressful – but make sure to watch out that packaging (e.g. the string or plastic from meat joints) is disposed of where pets can’t find it!
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate. But please be careful to keep all open chocolates away from your dogs. Theobromine is a compound in chocolate that is toxic to dogs. The amount varies with the cocoa content – with dark and cooking chocolates the most dangerous. Chocolate poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and heart arrhythmias. It can progress to tremors and seizures and can be fatal if not treated early. So eat up your selection boxes and make sure all chocolate decorations are hung high on the tree!
Raisins, sultanas and currants
..all ingredients for traditional Christmas puddings and cakes but these can cause kidney failure in dogs if eaten. Even small quantities shouldn’t be ignored – prompt vet attention is important.
Lilies, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are all poisonous in various ways to pets. Keep out of reach and remember that cats often brush up against new things in the house – lily pollen ingested by the cat from grooming the coat is enough to cause significant kidney damage.
Tinsel and Ribbon
Pets can be curious and playful! They like to help with wrapping presents and decorating the tree… but it is not unknown for both cats and dogs to eat lengths of tinsel and ribbon and this can lead to severe intestinal problems and emergency surgery can be required to remove them.
Bear these things in mind to keep your pets out of harms way, and keep stress to a minimum this Christmas. If you are at all worried over the Christmas period and think that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t have (which we know is common when you own a Labrador!) then please contact us at the practice.