Friday, December 18, 2015

Decorating is a fun and popular tradition this time of year, but there are some decorations that you need to be mindful of or avoid if you have pets in your home.  These include ribbons, tinsels, tree decorations and garlands made out of food or glass ornaments, candles, and wax warmers.   Artificial snow and exposed electrical wires may also pose a danger to our furry children.   Make  sure to keep your tree's water covered also.  The chemicals and other preservatives used to extend the life of your tree are harmful if your pets drink from the tree stand.  Many of us buy gifts for our beloved pets to show our love,  these should not be wrapped and placed under the tree.  Dogs and cats sense of smell is much stronger than ours and wrapping paper and plastics can cause gastrointestinal upset and possible obstructions.  

Holiday plants that you should avoid include:
*  Poinsettias: The sap can cause vomiting and stomach irratation.
*  Holly (leaves and berries):  Cause vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea,
*  Mistletoe:  Is extremely toxic.  If ingested take to Vet immediately.
*  Lily:  Especially deadly to cats, but all pet should be taken to the Vet.

The holidays are full of special foods and drinks.  To help you avoid an emergency trip to the veterinarian's office we have composed a short list of some things you should avoid with your pets:

* Chocolate:  Especially dark chocolate can be lethal.
*  Macadamia nuts: Can cause seizures.
*  Coffee, Tea, & Alcohol.
*  Nuts:  Are high in fat.  Many are toxic and most all cause GI distress and
* Greasy, fatty foods, and fat trimmings from meat, fried foods, bones,
   twines and strings used to tie meats:
   Cause GI upset, pancreatitis, and obstructions.
* Avocados, mushrooms, sage, onion, grapes, and raisins : Kidney problems.
* Any product containing Xylitol:  Artificial sweetner found in lots of "sugar-free"

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at 336-584-9978 and we will help  in any way we can.  There are also many resources available to you including the ASPCA Poison Control Center.  Please use discretion when referring to internet sites.  Consult your veterinarian if something seems questionable to you.

From the Dr Madarasz, Dr Cates and all the staff at Westbrook Animal Hospital
We wish everyone a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!