Merry Christmas everyone!! Each year we encounter a number of pets that have had “seasonal” accident at this time of year – often caused by access to decorations or over indulging and sneaking some tasty Christmas food when nobody was looking! Thankfully a lot of these incidents are minor but unfortunately there are times when they can be quite severe and very painful or even fatal for our pets.
Here’s a few tips to help keep your pets safe this Christmas. First up the cats…..
Cats and Foreign Bodies at Christmas
Cats, particularly young kittens, are fascinated by decorations and all the sparkle around the house at Christmas time. They simply can’t resist it! Cats and kittens love to play and chew on the decorations. Each year we see a number of cases where a cat or kitten has swallowed a decoration or some tinsel.
We’d advise you to keep things up at a height that’s kitten proof – although we do know this is pretty difficult!! Also try your best keep an eye on the kitten if they are playing near the tree so you can stop them ingesting anything dangerous.
Dogs and Chocolate
By far the most common emergency we encounter over Christmas is dogs that have eaten chocolate.
We’ll set the scene….. You’re relaxing on the couch in front of the fire after a long hard day, maybe you’ve had a nice glass of wine and decide to rest your eyes for a minute….This is when your best pal takes their chance and decides to taste a few delicious chocolates from the box you’ve left on the coffee table…. Our advice is that you try to remember to always keep chocolate at a safe height.
Chocolate can be very dangerous – especially dark chocolate. If you notice that your dog has ingested chocolate it is extremely important that you contact us immediately for an appointment. In the vast majority of cases it is possible to avert any major trouble by inducing a vomit in a timely fashion.
There is metabolite in the coco element in chocolate called theobromine that can be toxic to dogs, hence why dark chocolate is more dangerous and can be fatal.
High Fatty Ingestions
Dogs are susceptible to pancreatitis, a painful – and on rare occasions – a fatal condition. Fat ‘insults’ the pancreatic tissues and causes it to enter a state of inflammation that can be life threatening.
Avoid giving your dog too many fatty trimmings from meat where possible.
One year we had an unfortunate incident where a family had cooked a goose for Christmas and left the dish aside for a short while. Without them knowing their beloved dog found the tray and licked up all the goose fat. The high volume of fat consumed was fatal to the dog and he unfortunately passed away within 8 hours of this ingestion.
Sparks from Fires
We’re not the only ones who like to curl up in front of a warm fire on a cold winter’s night. Our pets love it too and know how to find the loveliest cosy spot! Be very careful with open fires though as sparks can easily cause painful, localised skin burns.
Be on the Lookout for Christmas Plants
Keep an eye on your pets if they are taking a fancy to your new Christmas plants. Poinsettias, holly and mistletoe look lovely, but are poisonous to both cats and dogs.
Christmas Opening Hours
Remember we’ll be running an extensive Christmas service this year and will be around to help out if you run into any difficulty. You can see all the details on our opening hours here.
From all the team at Ark Vetcare – have a happy and safe Christmas.