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How to Keep Your Pet Safe this Holiday Season, by Dr. Jenny

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Hi Friends and FAMily...

We wanted to put the word out this holiday season about the common hazards we see this time of year. The list of potential problem-causing décor and food can be extensive…keep in mind that a lot of unusual items have magically appeared to our pets...they are curious and may exhibit new adventurous chewing and consuming that is out of the ordinary…even the older pets.

Holiday and Christmas Décor to Keep in Mind

  • Ribbons and tinsel (bad for the gastrointestinal tract; can cause intestinal obstructions)
  • Ornaments (hang the more fragile and fringed high out of reach)
  • Batteries (corrosive in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract)
  • Electric cords (chewing on these can lead to electrocution)
  • Sparkly and/or crinkly home décor (not pet-safe ‘toys’)

Common Holiday Plant Dangers

  • Lilies (many species cause acute kidney failure in cats)
  • Mistletoe (can cause vomiting and diarrhea; rarely causes heart disturbances)
  • Holly (can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy)
  • Poinsettias (can cause irritation to the mouth and gastrointestinal tract)
  • Christmas tree water (can contain fertilizers; stagnant water can be full of harmful microorganisms)

Holiday Foods to Avoid

  • Chocolate (baker’s chocolate is very bad, semi-sweet is bad, milk chocolate is least bad)
  • Coffee (all forms; grounds, beams, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Onions & garlic (harmful to red blood cells)
  • Fatty & greasy foods (can lead to acute pancreatitis)
  • Yeast dough (the raw form can expand in the stomach and cause obstruction)
  • Spoiled foods
  • Alcohol

Other Winter Hazards

  • Antifreeze (causes acute kidney failure)
  • Ice melting products (various products cause various symptoms)
  • Scented oils/liquid potpourris (may cause eye, mouth and skin damage)

If your pet consumes anything questionable, please call FAM at 918-609-6111. If it is after our working hours, call one of our 24-hour emergency facilities, Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa or Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists of Tulsa.  You can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-4ANI-HELP.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Dr. Jenny Nobles


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