Christmas is almost here and with it comes some unique dangers to your pets. One of the most notable is tree ornaments and tinsel.
Cats primarily are known for eating tinsel, which can get caught in the intestine, causing the intestines to bunch up like an accordion. This requires extensive surgery to remove. Gift wrapping ribbon can also cause similar symptoms.
Ornaments seem to equally popular between cats and dogs. Keeping any glass or breakable ornaments higher on the tree is best to avoid them from being ingested, or causing cuts in the mouth. Some of the soft ornaments are just the right size to be eaten and get stuck in the intestinal tract. If you have a pet known to eat things they shouldn’t, it is probably best to keep the accessible part of the tree bare.
Christmas lights also pose a threat to dogs and cats alike. Chewing on cords can cause electrical shock which can cause injuries ranging from electrical burns in the mouth to death. Always use a grounded 3 pronged plug and try to keep cords out of reach.
As we are receiving and baking special treats this time of year, it is important to remember that there are several things that our pets should not be eating. Chocolate is probably the most common toxin people know about. It does not take very much baking chocolate to cause a toxicity. If your pet ingests chocolate they should be examined by a veterinarian. Fat trimmings and other rich foods can also cause severe gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis. Any baked treats that contain Xylitol can be life threatening for your pet as well. Macadamia nuts are also toxic and can cause severe tremors.
Although this is a sharing time of year, the best idea is to not share our Holiday foods with our pets!
By Dr. Jennifer Pearson, Idaho Veterinary Hospital