Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists » Holiday Hazards https://bevsvt.com Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:58:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.19 ‘TIS THE SEASON…SANTA PAWS!https://bevsvt.com/2015/tis-the-seasonsanta-paws/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/tis-the-seasonsanta-paws/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2015 20:46:21 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1879 BY DR. GARRETT LEVIN, DVM, Diplomate ACVS

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities.  As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible.  Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:

Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria – if ingested could cause nausea or diarrhea.  In addition, avoid putting aspirin in the water (some people do this thinking it will keep the tree more vigorous).  Aspirin-laced water can be life threatening.

Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly and Poinsettias, when ingested, can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems.  Varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.  Instead choose artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.

That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lit candles unattended.  Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock the candles over.  Be sure to use appropriate candle holders placed on a stable surface.  If you leave the room – put the candle out!

Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach.  A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock (especially if chewed on) and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.  Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

Beautiful Decorations: Keep other ornaments out of reach of pets.  Ingestion of any ornament, which might look like toys to pets can result in life-threatening emergencies and require emergency surgery to remove from the gastrointestinal tract.  Pine needles, when ingested, can puncture holes in a pet’s intestine.  So keep pet areas clear of pine needles.


Christmas Morning Presents: Put away toys after children open their gifts.  Small plastic pieces and rubber balls are common causes of choking and intestinal blockage in dogs.  Ingested plastic or cloth toys must often be removed surgically.

Provide your pets with a place to hide: Many pets get nervous, shy and scared around people that they are not familiar with.  A spare bedroom, office or basement with your pets’ favorite toys and food is a good idea during holiday gatherings.

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Five pet hazards that may surprise youhttps://bevsvt.com/2013/five-pet-hazards-that-may-surprise-you/ https://bevsvt.com/2013/five-pet-hazards-that-may-surprise-you/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 19:49:54 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1035 1. Bread dough
If your pet ingests unbaked bread dough, contact your veterinarian immediately. When hosted in a warm environment (your pet’s stomach) the yeast will begin to expand which can lead to a bloated stomach. This can then progress to a gastric-dilitation volvulus (GDV), which is a twisted stomach. Watch for signs of drooling, vomiting, retching and an extended abdomen.

2. Liquid Potpourri: Cat Owners Beware
Even a few licks of liquid potpourri can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth and throat. They may also develop a fever have difficulty breathing, and have tremors. Dogs are not as sensitive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry so make sure your using non-toxic substances to keep your house fragrant this holiday season.

3. Imported Snow Globes
Recently, imported snow globes were found to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol). One to two tablespoons can be fatal to a dog or cat so make sure to keep these snow globes in a safe place and clean up any spills immediately. Antifreeze has a sweet taste so animals (and children) are drawn to its aroma.

4. Lilies
Many people think poinsettias are the holiday plant to avoid but beware of lilies. If cats lick or ingest small amounts, it can be fatal. Decorate your house with roses or orchids, cat-safe alternatives.

5. Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts (often found in trail mixes, cookies and candy)
Grape and raisin ingestion has been linked to kidney failure in dogs. The exact cause of kidney failure is unknown and the amount they need to ingest can vary from pet to pet. Macadamia nut toxicosis is rare in dogs but can cause uncomfortable symptoms for up to 48 hours. Signs may include hind end weakness, tremors and a fever.

If you see your pet get into any of the items listed above, please contact your veterinarian immediately. 

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Holiday Pet Hazardshttps://bevsvt.com/2011/holiday-pet-hazards/ https://bevsvt.com/2011/holiday-pet-hazards/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2011 20:25:23 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=618 On an average evening, our emergency service at BEVS regularly sees pets suffering the effects of partaking in the holiday spirit a bit too joyfully. To keep your holidays both festive and safe for your pets, keep in mind a few of the hidden holiday hazards for animals.

Chocolate – While we at BEVS see pets suffering from chocolate toxicity throughout the year, the holiday season certainly leads to an increase of pets that have gotten into chocolate or treats containing chocolate. Even as small an amount as one ounce of chocolate can be potentially toxic to animals, resulting in symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea in cases with mild exposure, to cardiac issues and seizures in cases with higher levels of ingestion. If you find your pet has gotten into any holiday treats, your best bet is to contact your veterinarian, who can advise you if inducing emesis (vomiting) is necessary and if hospitalization with supportive care is recommended.

Meat and Bones –Pet owners often want to include their pets in festive holiday meals. Keep in mind certain meats can be too fatty and rich for pet’s sensitive stomachs.  This may result in vomiting and diarrhea in mild cases, and the very serious condition of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in others. Pancreatitis often requires hospitalization and supportive care. Meat bones are tempting to give your dogs as a fun chew toy, but use caution here. Cooked poultry bones can splinter when chewed. The ingested fragments of bone can irritate and potentially perforate a pet’s intestinal tract, causing a condition called peritonitis, which can be lethal.  Blockages of the intestinal tract may also occur from ingestion of bones, and may require surgery to remove the foreign material. Larger, uncooked beef bones are preferable, as they are less likely to splinter and be ingested. However, it is still advisable to monitor your pets while they enjoy this treat.

Holiday Plants- Certain holiday plants and flowers can be very hazardous to pets, causing symptoms that vary from mild (vomiting and diarrhea) to very serious (kidney failure).  Some of the plants to keep out of your pets reach include mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, amaryllis, lilies, among others. The ASPCA website http://www.aspca.org/ has a comprehensive list of potentially poisonous plants.

Christmas Decor- Pets find the bright and colorful holiday decorations simply irresistible. Holiday decorations such as tinsel and ribbon may be very tempting to the feline members of your family. If ingested, these can become stuck in the intestinal tract and require surgical removal. Decorations such as tantalizingly shiny ornaments can injure your dog’s mouth if chewed on, and the sharp pieces can also become lodged and or irritate the stomach and intestines. Christmas trees, while beautiful, may also lead to holiday havoc. A cat shimmying up the tree could knock it over, leading to injury or a pet drinking from the water at the base of the tree may end up with an upset stomach due to the preservatives often found in the water.

Keep these few potential holiday hazards in mind and out of reach for your pets, so both you and your four-legged family members can enjoy a safe holiday season.



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