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Oct 23, 2013 3:07 PM by Atascadero Pet Hospital

Winter holiday hazards for your pets

Common Foods that can harm your pets
• Alcohol- Alcoholic drinks are commonly available around the holidays and can be dangerous to dogs and cats
• Caffeine- Commonly in coffee, tea, energy drinks and diet pills. Caffeine can affect the heart, stomach, intestines and the nervous system.
• Chocolate-Theobromine the toxic chemical in chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and arrhythmias. Higher concentrations found in Bakers Chocolate and Dark Chocolate
• Fatty foods-Vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis can be caused by ingestion of table scraps.
• Grapes and Raisins- Even small amounts of grapes or raisins can harm your dog's kidneys or even prove deadly
• Macadamia Nuts- Common in cookies and candies. Can cause vomiting, lethargy and loss of muscle control
• Onions and Garlic- Can cause an upset stomach to severe anemia with prolonged ingestion.
• Salt-Large amounts of salt (sea water) can cause brain swelling leading to neurological signs such as loss of coordination and seizures.
• Xylitol-Commonly in chewing gum and can cause vomiting, low blood sugar, weakness, liver failure and death.
• Yeast Dough- Gas expansion can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or even bloat and a twisted stomach
• Marijuana- More frequently this drug is being made into butter and used in baked goods. Pets will ingest the baked goods or the remnants of butter or marijuana itself.


Toxic Plants
• Lilies- Common flowers in holiday arrangements can be deadly to cats.
• Poinsettias- Mild irritation of the stomach and mouth may occur with ingestion.
• Holly- Can cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhea
• Mistletoe- Gastrointestinal upset most commonly, but can also cause heart problems.


Misc. Hazards
• Electric Cords- Dogs and cats can chew on the holiday light cords and be electrocuted.
• Ribbons and tinsel- Pets can ingest these and it may lead to an intestinal obstruction.
• Batteries- If chewed can result in burns to the mouth, tongue, esophagus and stomach.
• Potpourris- Liquid Potpourris can cause severe damage to the mouth, skin and eyes.
• Water with fertilizers -Christmas tree water can contain fertilizers or bacteria and cause some upset to the gastrointestinal tract.
• Antifreeze- Can be used in toilets where freezing is a problem. If pets drink the water, Antifreeze is extremely toxic and will lead to kidney failure and death.
• Rodenticides- Rodents are more common in the winter months and the use of rodenticide baits may lead to pets ingesting the bait. The most common baits area anti-coagulants and will cause lethargy, coughing, swellings and lameness, all secondary to bleeding and ultimately leading to death if not treated.

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