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Holiday Hazards

Published by in Harmful food ·
Tags: HolidayHazardsforPets
Holiday Hazards for Pets

For many people, winter is a time of holidays, parties and family get-togethers.  It’s only fair to include your pet.  There are some unique challenges that come with the cold weather, and a holiday party can create hazards for your pet.

Many holiday food items are potentially dangerous to pets.  Chocolate is frequently a feature of celebrations, and it can be deadly to your pet.  Other foods can have dangerous ingredients too.  As a general rule, don’t share human food with your pet.  Make sure guests know not to feed them.  Some pets, mainly dogs, are accomplished beggars, and can wheedle tidbits out of almost anyone.  If you aren’t sure about your pet’s ability to restrain their vacuum tendencies, it may be safer to exclude them from parties and gatherings. See more.

Many holiday plants are toxic to pets, some more than others.  Some examples include poinsettia (slightly toxic), holly, and mistletoe (European mistletoe is particularly bad).  The level of toxicity depends on the size of your pet and the amount ingested, but it’s always safest to consult your veterinarian if your pet eats any plants.  Some plants can even be fatal if ingested.  Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats.  If your pet likes to browse on houseplants, it’s a good idea to research what plants are ok and which ones to avoid.
Be careful what ornaments and decorations you use, and supervise your pet around potential hazards.  Glass ornaments can break, power cords can cause shocks and burns if chewed, ribbons, string and strands of tinsel can cause a potentially dangerous obstruction if ingested.  Candles can be knocked over, and if something isn’t kid-safe, it’s also not pet-safe.

A common winter poison is antifreeze.  It has a very sweet taste, and many animals will happily drink it.  Keep containers closed up tight, and clean up spills promptly.  If you think your pet may have consumed antifreeze, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.  Another problem is the cold.  Some dogs love the cold and snow, but it can be rough on older pets and those who don’t have heavy undercoats.  Make sure your snow-loving dog has a warm shelter if they like to spend a lot of time outside, but bring all pets inside during severe cold or bad weather whether they like it or not.  Frail pets should spend minimal time outdoors, and even some dogs could benefit from being litter trained.

If you are looking for a vet in Newmarket, call us at 905-898-1010.


Food to Avoid

Published by in Harmful food ·
Tags: toxicfoodpetpoisoningdogsdiarrheacatscatsvomitingdogs
Human food sometimes is harmful to your pet. Make sure your pet does not get any of the following foods: Alcohol, Avocado, Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine, Citrus, Coconut and Coconut Oil, Grapes, Raisins, Macadamia Nuts, Milk and Dairy products, Nuts, Fat trimmings, Onions, Garlic, Chives, Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones, Fish (raw, canned or cooked), Salt and Salty Snack Foods, Xylitol, Yeast Dough, Marijuana, Moldy or spoiled food, garbage, Mushrooms, Rhubarb leaves, String, Sugary foods, Tobacco, Apple Seeds, Corn on the cob, Hops, Persimmons, peaches, Plums, Rhubarb, and tomato leaves.

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, low blood sugar, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.

Avocados contain Persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion.

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine:
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines. The severity of toxicity depends on the type and the amount of ingested chocolate, and the size of dog. Dark & baking chocolate are more dangerous than White & milk chocolate. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation, vomiting and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small amounts, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.

Coconut and Coconut Oil:
When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause vomiting, loose stools or diarrhea.

Grapes and Raisins:
Contain an unknown toxic substance that can cause kidney damage or even kidney failure. It is best to avoid feeding your dog any grapes or raisins.

Macadamia Nuts:
Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, panting, swollen limbs, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Milk and Dairy products:
Pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase to properly digest dairy foods. Milk and Dairy products can cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Nuts & Fat trimmings:
Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.

Onions, Garlic, Chives:
These vegetables and herbs contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause damage red blood cells, anemia, and gastrointestinal irritation. Cats are more susceptible than dogs.
Onion Garlic

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones:
Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets and humans. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (vitamin B7), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Bones can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Fish (raw, canned or cooked):
If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods:
Large amounts of salt can produce electrolyte imbalance, excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. If eaten in large quantities it may cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. This is why we encourage you to avoid feeding salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to your pets.

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species. Even small amounts can cause hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels) and can lead to liver failure. Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy, weakness and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures and collapse. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Yeast Dough:
Yeast produce ethanol and gas as by-product and a dog ingesting raw bread dough can become drunk. Make sure they don’t get any. While mild cases will cause gas, flatulence, and discomfort, too much of it could be painful and can cause bloat, and potentially stomach twist and possible rupture of the stomach becoming a life threatening emergency.

Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, urinary incontinence, hind legs weakness and changes in the heart rate.

Moldy or spoiled food, garbage:
Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.

Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.

Rhubarb leaves:
Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body." cause complications.

Sugary foods:
Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Apple Seeds:
The casing of apple seeds are toxic to a dog as they contain a natural chemical (amygdlin) that releases cyanide when digested.

Corn on the cob:
This is a sure way to get your dog’s intestine blocked. The corn is digested, but the cob gets lodged in the small intestine, and if it’s not removed surgically, can prove fatal to your dog.

An ingredient in beer that can be toxic to your dog. The consumption of hops by your dog can cause panting, an increased heart rate, fever, seizures, and even death.

Persimmons, peaches, and plums:
Persimmon seeds and peach and plum pits can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Peaches Plums

Rhubarb, and tomato leaves:
These contain oxalates, which can adversely affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

If your pet ingested one of these food contact your veterinarian or call our veterinary clinic in Newmarket Aurora area at 905-898-1010

Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital - 107-525 Brooker Ridge, Newmarket, ON - T: 905-898-1010
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