Twelve Days of Christmas Hazards!

13 Dec 2017 | Pet Advice

It’s a busy time in most households over Christmas and our pets can come across many unusual, fascinating and tasty temptations!  But beware, many of the things we enjoy over the festive period can be potentially very dangerous to our animals.  Here are our Twelve Days of Christmas Hazards to look out for.

  1. CHOCOLATE

Many people are caught unawares when the family pooch sneakily sniffs out wrapped chocolate under the Christmas tree! Chocolate causes vomiting, diarrhoea and potentially life-threatening seizures or heart-rhythm abnormalities.

  1. GRAPES / RAISINS

Whether eaten on their own, or hidden in mince pies / Christmas pud / pannetone or all the other seasonal goodies just one grape can potentially cause serious – even fatal kidney damage.

  1. MILK / CREAM

Dogs and cats cannot digest lactose properly. Don’t be tempted to give them a little Christmas treat or you may regret the vomit and diarrhoea that follows! The high level of fat in cream could also cause pancreatitis – a serious, painful disease.

  1. BREAD DOUGH

Raw bread dough will continue to ferment in the stomach, causing obstruction. In addition, the ethanol released during fermentation will cause poisoning.

  1. PLANTS

Deck the halls carefully! Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia will cause vomiting and diarrhoea when munched, so place those tasteful decorations out of reach.

  1. COFFEE

Caffeine, as we all know, is a stimulant, and our pets are more sensitive to it than we are. A coffee (or chocolate-coated coffee bean) overdose will cause anything from an upset stomach to a hammering heart, twitching and seizures.

  1. SWEETS

Many sweets and gums are flavoured with xylitol which, in dogs, will cause blood sugar levels to plummet (potentially leading to coma, seizures or death) and will damage the liver.

  1. ANTI-FREEZE

Although cats are usually very careful about eating anything out-of-the-ordinary they will lick at and drink sweet-tasting anti-freeze. There’s always anti-freeze about during the winter – whether in the garage, or in ponds and other water-features – and sadly we see cases of poisoning each year. The ethylene glycol causes severe acute damage to the kidneys, and is almost always fatal. Keep anti-freeze safely out of reach!

  1. SALT DOUGH DECORATIONS

Don’t get caught out by this one! Dogs will happily munch on your child’s best creations. The high levels of salt lead to vomiting and diarrhoea, dehydration, seizures and kidney failure.

  1. ONIONS / GARLIC

…no gravy or stuffing! Onions and garlic can cause an upset stomach and, more seriously, anaemia. Garlic is particularly potent.

  1. BONES

Wrap that turkey carcase well and keep it out of reach! The sharp bones can cause blockage, constipation and can even penetrate the gut.

  1. EGGNOG

A tipple full of mischief! The cream will upset the stomach and / or pancreas, the nutmeg can, in high doses, cause hallucinations and even seizures, and the alcohol will depress the nervous system.

And don’t forget we’re here to help around Christmas and the New Year and we always have someone trained who will answer the phone and help in an emergency.

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