Pet Holiday Safety Tips

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     Holiday Hazzards to Avoid 

I have written an article on this topic before, but a friend of mine had a pet get really ill and that reminded me of a hazzard I hadn't brought up earlier: the temptation to sneak our pets "treats" from the dinner table.

My friend, who has never done this before, decided to reward their beloved dog with the Thanksgiving ham bone. Dog loved it of course. Not long afterwards though our poor pup was very uncomfortable with digestive upsets, vomiting and diarrhea. Much money and a couple days in the veterinary hospital later, she was fine. And fortunately, she didn't need surgery as the bone didn't get stuck or pierce her bowels. My friend realized what an expensive mistake giving a treat to her dog that was.

Many foods we do well with, pets won't. Of course, any bones have their potential hazzard of getting stuck in the stomach or as they pass through the bowels. Or if the bones are chewed up and spinter with sharp edges, they can minimally create a dramatic irritation to the guts as they pass and even worse, could poke through and cause infection in the adomen outside the bowels (medically known as peritonitis). The latter is a very serious condition which requires surgery and long hospitalization. (Of course, a bone stuck somewhere probably needs surgery too.)

The other thing about ham is that it contains a very large amount of salt. I am sure we have all felt that extra water weight after overdoing any salty food. I have only seen this once, but it can happen so I must bring it up. Once when I did emergency work we saw a dog who stole the ham and ate the whole thing. The dog developed a condition where there was so much salt in the body, his brain started to swell. There were also serious digestive issues and an inflamed pancreas. That poor creature was so overloaded with salt that the treatment didn't work. Moral of this story, is keep such foods safely stored where your dog or cat can't help themselves.

I have an article on my site about chocolate toxicity so I won't go over all that again. That article can be found here: Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Any change in diet for a pet can alter the bacterial content of the digestive system and cause vomiting and diarrhea. So, if you are going to give treats, it is best to use those the pet is already use to eating. Minimally, only give a small bite of turkey or cheese or whatever.

A brief warning again for those who haven't seen my other articles, pine oils are very toxic to cats if ingested so keep your Christmas tree water covered so any cats don't drink it. Dogs would probably also get digestive upset from it. Also, many holiday plants are toxic if eaten, most well known are the Poinsettias and Chrysanthemum.

I hope this data keeps you from any unexpected visits to your veterinarian.

If your pet get stresses over the holidays due to company or just the extra activity and changes in the household, try our Nutricalm supplement. Capsules for large dogs can be bought here Nutri Calm and liquid formula for small dogs and cats here Liquid Nutri Calm

If you want more frequent tidbits from me we have a facebook page you can follow here:

Dr. Jan

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