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, Engish Ivy, Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias, which decorate many homes will cause illness if ingested. The most common symptoms are gastrointestinal symyptoms such as excessive drooling, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Ingestation 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 treatmment for dehyration, 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, visitng 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.

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 artifical sweetner 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 ablity 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.