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Have a Happy and Safe Holiday!

By December 22, 2018 January 2nd, 2019 Uncategorized

What a wonderful time! Finally time to stop rushing and enjoying what’s important in life: Those you love – the people and pets around you.

Be safe – be happy. Please read these tips:

Turkey skin, gravy, scraps, and the fixings that go along with this meal can cause severe stomach and intestine upset in animals. It can even lead to pancreatitis, a very painful condition that might require hospitalization.

The string used to tie the turkey is flavorful and readily ingested. This string can cause a severe problem with the intestines leading to a rupture and our veterinarians have done many of string emergency surgeries. Other foodstuffs to watch for are sage, nuts, onion, garlic, and nutmeg. And don’t forget to keep your dog or cat away from any turkey bones that can splinter or get stuck in the intestines.

The alcohol, chocolate, and other poisons  are readily available and also toxic.

One of the biggest threats is the day after the feast, when your dog has found the trash containing irresistible smells and tastes, so dispose of your post feast scraps so they are not accessible by any of your pets.
In addition pets will bite or swallow seasonal decorations, gift wraps, and ornamental lighting. Broken ones can cut paws.

Tinsel is especially problematic, and seemingly irresistible to cats. It has sharp edges and can easily cut through the intestines leading to severe disease and emergency surgery to save your pet’s life.

Artificial and natural Christmas trees can contain preservatives, pesticides, toxins, and oils to keep them fresh and prevent fires. Vets in Markham know that even the water used to keep a real tree fresh can contain these toxins so keep it covered.  Needles from trees can be ingested, inhaled, or penetrate body parts, causing serious harm.

Many holiday plants, whether their leaves or berries, can be toxic, so keep your pet away from all of them to be safe.  This is especially true for holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. The water at the base of these plants contains these toxins, so keep it covered.

Biting into the extra electrical cords used to light Christmas decorations can cause a severe lung reaction leading to fluid buildup and death.  Keep them covered if possible. Batteries for toys are easily bitten or swallowed. This can cause an obstruction or severe toxicity.

Let’s not forget the ubiquitous fruitcake that nobody seems to eat. Your pet will readily eat this, and since fruitcake contains candied fruits, spices, sometimes alcohol, and nuts, your pet can become ill.

All the extra noise and visitors can disrupt your pet’s behavior, so make sure it has a warm and quite safe place. Noisy celebrations at midnight on New Year’s Eve are very disturbing to sensitive eared pets, so make sure they are in a quiet and secure place and call your veterinary clinic for sedation if needed.

As an added precaution, it is common to change antifreeze as the weather cools. This is very toxic to animals, so prevent any chance of exposure, even licking a few drops off the garage floor can be toxic. Use antifreeze that contains propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol to help minimize this serious and oftentimes deadly problem.

The last thing you want during the busy holidays is to have your pets stomach pumped  by a veterinary emergency clinic  to remove a toxin, or hospitalized for emergency surgery.

If you found this blog informative, please share it with your friends on Facebook . Please call us (905)477-2323 for any questions or search for more articles on our website:

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham

Fear Free Certified Practitioner

Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.

Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of  Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.). We pride ourselves to provide cost effective veterinary medicine and give you options for treatments. Some may think our services as cheap, but our goal is to give good value.

Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.

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