img_9519_dr-keithIn all the activities of the holiday season our pets may be exposed and attracted to hazards less commonly found other times of the year. As homes fill with holiday spirit, pets may be intrigued by the new sites, smells and tastes. The following are some of the most common health concerns for your pet during the holidays. If you have specific questions regarding any pet health concern please contact Rolling Hills Pet Hospital

Tinsel, Ribbon and other ornaments

Ribbons, wrapping paper, ornaments, tinsel, extension cords and gifts may be appealing. There is something about those shiny strands of tinsel, which drives kitties wild, but the ingestion of tinsel can be deadly. Eating tinsel or other string-like items can cause serious damage to the intestine. Eating other holiday decorations can cause signs ranging from mild depression to severe vomiting or diarrhea, depending upon whether or not the foreign matter can be passed in the stool or gets stuck along the way. Surgery is sometimes required to remove foreign matter that does not pass out on its own.

Holiday Lights

Both indoor and outdoor lights should be carefully examined to ensure safety for your household pets. Electrical shock may occur from defective cords as well as from pets chewing on cords. Check cords for any signs of bite marks, loose or frayed wires, proximity to the tree’s water supply or evidence of short circuits. Use grounded “3-prong” extension cords and strictly follow manufacturer’s guidelines for light usage.

Electrical shock can cause burns, difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rhythm, loss of consciousness, and death. Call a veterinarian immediately if your pet has been injured by electrical shock. Treatment will be most effective if begun soon after the shock.

Holiday Food

Well-intentioned family and friends may share holiday foods with pets causing the pet to develop a stomach upset or worse, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) which can be caused by eating fatty foods such as turkey scraps. Keep scraps and other “extra’s” to a minimum.

Chocolate may be mistakenly given to pets as treats and may be irresistible to the curious canine. Chocolate poisoning occurs most frequently in dogs but other species are also susceptible.

Theobromine is the toxic compound found in chocolate. Signs which may appear within 1 to 4 hours of eating chocolate include:
· Vomiting
· Increased thirst
· Diarrhea
· Weakness
· Difficulty keeping balance
· Muscle spasms, seizures, coma
· Death from abnormal heart rhythm

If you think your pet may have eaten chocolate please seek immediate care.

If you have any questions about these items or any other please call us at 619-656-6400.

We hope this information helps you and your pet’s have a happy and healthy holiday season!