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- Making Your Holiday House Safe for Your Pets
We love the holidays for celebrating some of life’s happiest moments and making memories with loved ones. Dogs and cats love the holidays too, especially when their owners and guests share extra time and pet treats with them. But all the interesting foods and decorations in our homes during the holidays can be irresistible to pets, sometimes landing them in emergency pet hospitals after tasting or eating them.
“Every year during the holidays, calls to Pet Poison Helpline increase substantially,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. “Certain foods and items that bring holiday cheer to our homes can have the opposite effect on pets when ingested, making them very sick.”
Armed with knowledge, pet owners can keep their beloved best friends out of harm’s way this holiday season. To inform pet owners, and also to debunk some age-old myths, the veterinarians and toxicology experts at Pet Poison Helpline offer these tips for pet owners.
Tinsel and Liquid Potpourri: Cat Owners Beware
Tinsel should be banned from households with cats. It looks like a shiny, fun toy to cats, but when ingested, tinsel can wrap around the tongue or anchor itself in the stomach making passage through the intestines impossible. Matters are made worse when the intestines contract and move, as tinsel can slowly cut through the tissue and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract. For all these reasons, it’s also best to keep ribbon, yarn and thread stowed away.
Liquid potpourris are dangerous too. They typically contain cationic detergents and essential oils that, if consumed by a cat, can cause severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing and tremors. Dogs are not as sensitive to the chemicals, but its best to keep potpourri out of their reach as well.
Handbags: Stow Them Away!
Be sure to store guest’s handbags out of your pets’ reach. Handbags typically contain many items poisonous to dogs and cats. The most dangerous are prescription medications, pain medications (e.g., Tylenol, Advil, Aleve), sugarless chewing gum, asthma inhalers, cigarettes, coins, and hand sanitizers.
Human Eats and Drinks: Not for Pets
Some holiday foods we hold dear can be quite dangerous to pets, such as chocolate and cocoa, candy and sugarless gums that contain xylitol, yeast bread dough, leftover fatty meat scraps, and fruit cakes with raisins and currants. The fruitcake threat can be compounded if the cake is soaked in rum or another alcohol. Alcohol poisoning in pets can result in a dangerous drop in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature, potentially leading to seizures and respiratory failure. So, while entertaining this holiday season, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask guests to refrain from sharing human food and drinks with pets.
About Pet Poison Helpline
Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff provides treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com.
- If you are concerned, you should probably bring your pet in.Come in right away if...
You might need to come in if...
- Labored breathing
- You suspect poisoning
- Repeated vomiting
- Cat not eating for 24 hours
- Male cat not urinating
- Not using back legs
- Difficulty giving birth
- Changes in eating or drinking
- Abnormal urinating or defecating
- Changed energy level/behavior
- Limping or not walking properly
- Products Chosen Carefully to Nurture and Protect Your Pet
From the technicians to the Doctors, their professionalism shines through, leaving you peace of mind.Mary & TishWestonka Animal Hospital is by far the best we have ever been too.David GreerThey are very informative on the best ways to take care of my pets and help them live as long & as healthy as possible.Carol SJackie Piepkorn, DVM, OwnerIn Practice Since: 1991 Education:
- Frontline Plus & Heartgard
- Pet Health Insurance and Credit
- Dog & Cat Food
- Pet Activity Toys
- Collars, Leashes & Harnesses
- Grooming Equipment
- Interactive Food Toys
- Oral Health Products
- Pheromone Calming Aids
- Pet Carriers
- Poop Bags
- Personalized Tags & Collars
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University – 1990Although the majority of Dr. Jackie's time is spent at Westonka Animal Hospital, she does spend time at the University of Minnesota Veterinary School teaching senior vet students surgery in the small animal elective surgery rotation. She really enjoys working with students and sharing her knowledge and surgery skills. Dr. Jackie volunteers with several animal related activities. Since 1996, Dr. Jackie has volunteered as a trail vet at sled dog races throughout the Untied States. She has traveled as far east as the CanAm Crown in northern Maine to as far west as the Iditarod in Alaska and has helped at many sled dog races in between. Dr. Craig and Dr. Jackie also volunteer at the Minnesota Sate Fair Surgery suite participating either as a surgeon or as a moderator explaining the surgery taking place. Dr. Jackie says being veterinarian is the greatest occupation in the world!! She also believes she is working with he best veterinary staff in the entire Twin Cities!Craig Piepkorn, DVM, OwnerIn Practice Since: 1992 Education:
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University – 1986Craig Piepkorn grew up on a farm in North Dakota. He graduate from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 1982 and from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University in 1986. He has been with Westonka Animal Hospital and Laser Surgery Center since 1992. He is married to Dr. Jackie and enjoys spending time with his family, including his pug "Otis Spunkmeyer". He is active on several committees for the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association. After hours, he enjoys exercising, bicycling, and spending time with friends. A typical "Dr. Craig-ism" we hear the the clinic is "Old Age Is Not A Disease" meaning we should not euthanize pets just because they are old.Puppy Playtime1st & 3rd Saturdays, 12:30-1pmPuppies 8-16 weeks old meet and play. Socialization is one of the most important developmental needs for your puppy. Also, the puppies are really, really cute.No reservations required. Just show up.Kitten KindergartenWeds Evening, TBDSocialization for kittens. Four sessions.Registration required.Annual WeCAN Coat DriveUntil October 14thDrop off Donations at the ClinicWinter outerwear in good condition