Idiopathic Issues

10 Holiday Hazards for Pets Causing True Veterinary Emergencies

Posted by Cari Wise on December 23, 2016 at 11:38 AM
Cari Wise
Dr. Cari Wise is a 1999 graduate of the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a Masters degree in Education from Argosy University in 2015. Throughout her career, Dr. Wise has utilized her veterinary education in variety of settings including private and corporate small animal practice, shelter medicine, spay/neuter clinics, veterinary relief services, start-up practice ownership, and veterinary technician education.

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The holiday season is upon us and with the decorations and festivities come potential hazards for our pets and veterinary emergencies for the pros. Here are ten examples of holiday hazards for pets known to keep emergency veterinarians busy this time of year.
 

1. People Food

Consumption of unfamiliar foods can cause a variety of ailments including vomiting and diarrhea, pancreatitis, bloat and even more severe problems.

2. Alcohol

Just say no.  Animals react differently than humans when it comes to alcohol.  Some may experience vomiting and diarrhea, while others could have difficulty breathing, develop tremors or even die. 

3. Christmas Trees

Both live and artificial trees have the potential to cause real harm to your companion animals, particularly if the tree falls on your pet, or if your pet is allowed to consume the standing water you have provided for your live tree.  Use caution!

4. Mistletoe

Keep this toxic tradition away from your pets!  Not only can it cause vomiting and diarrhea if eaten, it can also cause cardiovascular problems.
 
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5. Holly

Hide the Holly to avoid gastrointestinal upset and depression!  The berries are particularly problematic.

6. Lilies

Eliminate the Lilies! As if vomiting isn’t enough, lilies are also known to cause kidney failure and even death in our feline friends! 

7. Candles

Candles and curious pets don’t mix!  Animals visit the ER each year for candle associated burns, either from direct contact with flame, or encountering hot wax. 

8. Holiday Lights

Best advice: be aware! Pets who chew on the electrical can suffer burns to their tongues and mouths, or receive a potentially deadly electric shock. Batteries can also be dangerous when chewed and punctured.

9. Glass Ornaments

Your furry friends will be attracted to these beautiful “play toys”.  Unfortunately, these encounters can result in lacerations to the mouth, esophagus and stomach.  

10. Tinsel 

Cats can’t resist the shimmer of tinsel, and ingestion is a real emergency.  A wad of tinsel trapped in the stomach will act as a linear foreign body, potentially slicing through the intestinal wall.
 
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