Allison’s December newsletter

These Dangerous Holidays

  No matter how much we love and adore them, nobody wants to spend time worrying about the health of their pets at this time of the year.  There are decorations to put up, gifts to buy, cookies to bake, and a million other things going on that take our attention away from our pets.  The truth is, the parasites that prey on our furry friends (ticks, mosquitoes, fleas) are dead (we hope), most of us don’t have to think about heartworm testing and prevention yet (though we are still giving our Heartgard every month, right??), and our money and attention is understandably all tied up elsewhere around the holidays.  Preventing possible emergencies and illnesses is a huge part of our goal here at Four Lakes, so please take just one quick second to check this list of holiday hazards for pets during this month:

Food hazards:

Please do not hesitate to call us at: 608-819-6750

or the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435

or the Pet Poison Helpline at: 800-213-6680

if you are concerned about something your pet has eaten.

Onions & garlic can damage red blood cells and cause life-threatening anemia.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum and candy, causes a very fast, very dangerous drop in blood sugar and can be fatal.Orbit

Chocolate contains a stimulant called methylxanthine, which can poison dogs- the higher the amount of actual cocoa (darker chocolate has more), the worse is it.

Yeast dough expands in the warm, moist stomach and cause a blockage that could require surgical removal.

Grapes & raisins can cause kidney failure.

Animal bones, especially chicken and turkey, can block the esophagus or break into shards that can perforate the stomach or intestines, requiring surgical repair.TurkeyWishbone

Animal fat can cause very serious illnesses in pets- remember how small their bodies are compared to our own- a little bit of fat goes a long way toward upsetting the balance of their systems.

Macadamia nuts can cause muscle tremors, weakness and vomiting.

Human medications can cause a variety of mild to severe reactions in pets, depending on the dosage and the amount they ingest- NEVER give your pet any human medication without checking with your veterinarian first.Adderall ambien-generic

Tylenolaleve

Household Hazards:

Decorations & wrappingsRibbon seem very appealing to particularly cats and young puppies and kittens- the ornaments look like shiny balls to play with, tinsel is sparkly and moves tantalizingly in the slightest breeze, and wrapping paper and ribbons are lightweight and fun to bat around.  All of these items are potentially hazardous to your pets- often ornaments are very fragile and could break in their mouths, causing cuts and possibly damaging teeth; ingestion of tinsel, wrapping paper or ribbon could cause particularly serious intestinal blockages requiring surgical intervention.

Plants such as holly & mistletoe can cause stomach upset (vomiting and diarrhea) and lilies can cause kidney failure in cats!MistletoeHolly

Candles are so pretty to have around this time of year, but one errant swish of the dog’s tail or a misstep by the cat, and you’ll have a holiday disaster on your hands- keep the candles up high where they can’t reach!

Rock salt and other man-made products that help clear our walkways of snow and ice can be toxic to our pets.  Pieces can stick to your dog’s paws when out for a walk and when you get inside, he licks and licks at them to remove the tiny pieces, ingesting whatever material you use. Play it safe and use pet-safe de-icing products.

Antifreeze has a dangerously sweet smell and taste to dogs- keep it out of their reach to avoid toxicity!

As much as we love your animals and would love to see you around the holidays, we would hate for it to be due to an injury or toxicity in your beloved pet.  Stop in for fun stuff instead- a homemade, hand-decorated dog treat, a plush squeaky toy or a couple of fuzzy mice for the kitty!

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We wish you the happiest of holidays and hope that they are safe and fun for your whole family!