Seasonal Dangers for Pets by a Joplin Veterinarian

A Joplin Veterinarian Recognizes Seasonal Dangers to Dogs

The holidays often increase the number of dogs seen for emergencies by a Joplin veterinarian. Plants, such as mistletoe, English Ivy, Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias, which decorate many homes will cause illness if ingested and can be seasonal dangers for pets. The most common symptoms are gastrointestinal symptoms such as excessive drooling, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. In-gestation of high volumes of these plants may lead to fatalities. Most cases of plant ingestion by dogs seen by a Joplin veterinarian are not that severe, but often require treatment for dehydration, abdominal (belly) pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

While plant ingestion by dogs and cats is seen each holiday season by a Joplin veterinarian, the most common holiday emergency is what is fed by their caretakers, visiting family, and guests with which they come in contact. Most people now know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats. The symptoms range from gastrointestinal to seizures and death. So, chocolate presents real dangers for pets.

Few people think that a fruit cake could be toxic to dogs, but they often contain raisins and/or currants which are highly toxic to the kidneys of the dog. It is unclear exactly how many may be ingested before the kidneys are damaged according to a Joplin veterinarian.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in many sugarless gums and diabetic products, is also toxic to dogs. The symptoms vary- a sudden onset of hypoglycemia (low blood ) sugar which produces seizures or total liver failure. Xylitol is considered 100 times more toxic than chocolate. Some gums contain enough xylitol that only a few pieces are toxic to a small dog. If your dog ingests xylitol, call your Joplin veterinarian immediately.
Joplin veterinarians recommend that caretakers do not share their holiday feast with their dog. The high fat content of human meals often overwhelms the dog’s ability to digest the fat. The result is a sick dog that will not eat, has severe abdominal cramping and pain, vomiting or diarrhea. As a Joplin veterinarian, I recommend avoiding the risk associated with eating table scraps from human meals.

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