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Holiday Hazards and Your Pet

With the Holiday Season fast approaching, we would like to remind you about some potential hazards for your pet.

1. RIBBONS & TINSEL: Of particular interest to cats and kittens. When swallowed, these strings or “linear foreign bodies” can catch in the digestive tract causing the intestines to bunch up. This is a life threatening condition that requires surgery to correct.

2. ELECTRICAL CORDS: Are tempting to cats who like to play with string, puppies who just enjoy chewing and rabbits who are also enthusiastic chewers. When a pet bites through a cord it can result in a severe burn to the tongue, gums, and lips. The lungs may also be severely affected. Electrical burns may result in your pet needing an emergency trip to your veterinarian.

3. CHOCOLATE: A delicious treat for you, but it can be toxic to your pet if consumed in excessive amounts. Darker chocolate is more toxic because it contains more theobromine. This means that smaller amounts can cause more trouble.  Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and hyperexcitability. Please call your veterinarian or local emergency clinic immediately if you discover that your pet has ingested chocolate.

4. DIETARY INDISCRETION: Sharing your holiday feast and treats with your pet may expose them to fatty food that their digestive system cannot tolerate.  The result can vary from stomach upset to diarrhea, or in the worse case, pancreatitis. Please seek veterinary care if your pet develops vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite. It is best not to give over-the-counter medication without seeking advice first.

5. PLANTS: Poinsettias are not poisonous! Poinsettias and Mistletoe can cause stomach irritation if ingested. Christmas Holly ingestion may cause nausea, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea and lip smacking.

Symptoms resulting from the ingestion of these plants is generally self-limiting BUT if your pet has repeated vomiting, diarrhea or inappetance, please call your veterinarian.

LILIES aren’t common at holiday time but it is worthwhile to remember that cats are extremely sensitive to certain types of Lilies and that all parts of the plant are considered toxic. Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum), Tiger lilies (Lilium tigrinum), Japanese show lilies (Lilium hybridum), Rubrum lilies (Lilium rubrum), numerous lily hybrids, and Day Lilies (Hemerocallis species) are associated with kidney failure in cats.

Seek veterinary care immediately if your cat has ingested any part of a Lily plant!

Amaryllis (often called Christmas lily) is not a true lily and does not cause kidney toxicity but rather may cause gastrointestinal signs (vomiting, diarrhea, nausea).

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