ABC-Animal  -  Health Chronicle

Holidays Could be Fatal for Your Pet !

Is your environment safe for your family during the Holidays (Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Summer, Thanksgiving, Halloween...), including your pets ? For Safe and Happy Holidays, be vigilant ! Here are a few precautions to take for everyone's safety.

DANGER with certain foods
* Chocolate
Your animal could be poisoned with only 125 grams of chocolate, and dark chocolate is even more dangerous than milk chocolate. It’s because chocolate contains theobromine, a cafeine-like substance. This substance can cause tremors, a rapid heart rate, or a heart attack.
* Sugar-free Sweets with Xylitol
Xylitol is a widely used sugar substitute. It can cause your animal’s death, dogs in particular, in only few hours. After ingestion of sugar-free sweets containing Xylitol (chewing gum, cakes, biscuits), the animal can present liver problems, low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), depression, loss of coordination, seizures, can collapse and die.
* Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic produce stomach upset, and anemia.
* Alcohol
Alcohol can intoxicate your animal. Never give them alcohol.

Quickly consult
Quickly consult your veterinarian or call the Animal Control Poison Centre at 1-888-426-4435 http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pro_apcc

If you thread a disguise (Halloween, Christmas), your animal can be happy, but he could yap, urinate in the house or hide. Because our habits during celebrations change its customs and are sources of stress for the animal. Pay attention, introduce yourself gently!

Christmas Safe Christmas tree and decorations
When Kitty climbs in the Christmas tree and Fido wags his tail against the branches, which are both very common occurrences, it can be catastrophic. The decorations fly everywhere and the tree topples to the ground. In theory, our pets won’t play with the tree. But in practice, they toy with the decorations, swallow the Christmas icicles and chew on electrical wires.
* Set up the tree solidly using an adapted base and other anchoring methods.
* Do not let your pet drink the water in the tree’s base. This water, to which herbicides and detergents may have been added, can make your pet sick, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
* Avoid using decorations that are easy to swallow, such as icicles, thin garlands and angel hair. If swallowed, these objects could cause an intestinal obstruction. If this happens, your pet might need emergency surgery and could die.
* Choose large unbreakable ornaments and accessories.
* Protect the electric wires of the Christmas lights.
* And above all, unplug the lights when you go out in order to prevent electrocution.
* When you take the tree down, make sure to clear away all of the decorations.

Ornamental plants: Avoid certain ornamental plants, or put them in a safe place

Certain plants, which are very popular at Christmas or Eastern time, cause discomfort or are toxic for animals and people.

* The poinsettia contains an irritating sap that causes mild stomach upset, vomiting, mouth ulcers and excessive salivation.

* Holly, mistletoe and Jerusalem cherry trees have very toxic fruits and leaves. If eaten, the plants can even provoke a depressive state.

* Find out more from your veterinarian or garden centre, or at Animal Control Poison Centre 1-888-426-4435 http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pro_apcc


Clean up wrapping paper quickly

* Quickly clean up wrapping paper along with ribbons and bows. Animals love playing with these items, which are dangerous for their health.


The entire ABC-Animal team wishes you a Safe and Happy Holidays ! 


Caroline Fortin, D.V.M.