christmas hazards pets

‘Tis the Season… for Christmas Hazards

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There is nothing better than the festivities which Christmas brings, but with that comes some hazards for our furry friends.

There are a few things which we need to be mindful of to keep our pets safe:

  1. The beloved Christmas pudding. 

This classic is full of sultanas, and although delicious can have serious or potentially fatal consequences for our dogs if ingested. Although unknown as to why, sultanas can cause damage to their kidneys which could even result in kidney failure.

Clinical signs can begin as soon as a few hours after ingestion, which can include vomiting (you may even see some sultanas in their vomit), diarrhoea, signs that they are in pain in particular around their tummy, being quieter than usual and excessive salivation.

Other signs which may develop 1-5days after eating sultanas include an increase in the amount they are drinking or urinating, weakness or wobbly when walking, trembling or appearing swollen.

It is crucial that if you are aware of sultana ingestion that you immediately seek veterinary attention. Treatment in the early stages can make a huge difference and could even prevent kidney failure in many cases. Treatment may include to induce vomiting, have some bloods done and intravenous fluids for several days.

  1. Christmas foods

Who doesn’t love some Christmas leftovers??? The thing is, our pets cannot process fat in the same way as we do. This means that even something small like a bbq sausage can make them quite sick. In particular we worry about pancreatitis, especially in our older dogs. The severity of pancreatitis can vary greatly from mild gastro signs to your dog needing hospitalisation or occasionally even death.

It is important that we consider carefully what leftover we feed our furry family members, to ensure they stay happy and healthy.

Look out for vomiting, diarrhoea and signs of pain. If you are concerned then please have your dog vet checked to ensure there isn’t anything serious to worry about.

  1. Tinsel decorations

Tinsel looks wonderful around the house and Christmas tree, but can also look very inviting to our dogs and cats. Afterall our feline friends love to play with string, and if ingested tinsel can lodge in the intestines and cause a foreign body obstruction which can cause the intestines to bunch together.

Clinical signs may include being more quiet than usual, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration and signs that your pet is in pain.

Treatment will usually involve xrays, and surgery to remove the tinsel. If treated early enough, most pets will make a good recovery which is why it is always important to have your pet checked immediately if you have any concerns.

  1. Kids toys

Sometimes it can be hard for our 4 legged family members to differentiate between their toys and the kids Christmas present strewn over the living room floor. Should they eat any toys please seek veterinary attention immediately. It may be possible to induce vomiting to reduce the chances of any issues. The biggest concern with ingesting toys is foreign body obstruction as with tinsel decorations. The clinical signs and treatment are also the same.

Heat Stroke

Summer is upon on, which is such a lovely time to enjoy the outdoors with none other than our furry best friends. There are a few simple rules which we need to follow during this time to ensure our pets are safe from the raging Perth sun.

  1. Walks in the early mornings when temperatures are cooler. Always be mindful of the hot floor as this can cause serious and painful burns to the sensitive pads on our dog’s feet.
  2. Have plenty of fresh cool water available
  3. Always have a shady area accessible, where they can keep stay cool
  4. Avoid activities such as fetch when hot, where your dog may over exert themselves

Signs to look out for if you do think your pet may be suffering from heat stroke include: vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse, red gums, excessive panting or unable to settle. If you suspect your pet may have heat stroke it is absolutely essential that immediate veterinary attention in sought as the consequence can be catastrophic.

(See the Tips for keeping your pet cool this summer article for more information)

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