The holiday season is a time that extra precautions need to taken to avoid potential dangers for our pets. These dangers include, but are not limited to the following:
Desiccant Gel Packs
- They are found in shoeboxes, electronics, medication bottles, and some foods.
- Ingestion produces mild vomiting and diarrhea.
Christmas Tree Preservative
- The sugar in the mixture entices pets to drink the liquid.
- Ingestion rarely causes severe symptoms, but may produce mild vomiting and diarrhea.
- The signs are more severe when the liquid is contaminated with bacteria or fungi.
- Ingestion of the needles may cause vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and depression.
- Eating large amounts of the plant will cause mild vomiting.
- Treatment is usually not required.
- All parts of the plant are toxic.
- Eating the plant causes vomiting, diarrhea and depression.
- Ingestion of just a few leaves or berries produces a mild upset stomach.
- Eating a large amount causes more severe vomiting, diarrhea and heart issues.
- Easter lilies, Tiger lilies, Day lilies, Asian lilies, Japanese Snow, and others
- Chewing on a single leaf can lead to kidney failure.
- Consider all exposures as potentially life-threatening.
- Small dogs and cats are more sensitive to ethanol than humans.
- They are attracted to mixed drinks containing milk, cream, or ice cream.
- Ethanol is rapidly absorbed and can cause signs within 30-60 minutes after ingestion.
- Clinical signs include vomiting, ataxia and disorientation.
- Large amounts lead to coma, seizures and even death.
- Toxicity causes hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors and potential death.
- The amount of toxin present in chocolate depends on the type.
- The more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic.
- Unsweetened baking chocolate contains 6 times more toxin than milk chocolate.
- White chocolate contains negligible amounts.
Ribbon, Tinsel and String
- Puppies and kittens are attracted to these items.
- When swallowed, the body tries to move the string or ribbon through the intestine. The intestine tends to “bunch up” along the linear object.
- The constant movement of the intestine produces a “sawing” action. This eventually leads to perforation of the bowel.
- This is a life-threatening condition requiring surgery.
- Puppies and kittens are tempted to play with and chew on electrical cords.
- When a pet bites through an electrical cord, severe burns to the tongue and mouth may occur.
- Damage to the area around the heart can also occur causing the pet’s lung to fill with fluid. This leads to difficulty in breathing.
- These are emergency situations requiring immediate veterinary attention.
Some other potentially toxic or dangerous items to keep away from your pets include:
- Macadamia nuts
- Rising bread dough
- Grapes and raisins
- Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum)
- Ice melting products
- Rodent poisons
- Stress of having visitors