Winter Newsletter 2018-2019
The days are shorter and the weather is colder. Here are a few things to keep in mind over the winter season.
When setting up your centerpieces and other decorations, keep in mind that some plants are potentially poisonous to pets. For instance, poinsettias can cause oral irritation and gastrointestinal upset. Chrysanthemums, holly, and mistletoe are also considered toxic. Lily ingestion can result in sudden kidney failure and death in cats. Keep all holiday plants far out of reach from pets and call your vet immediately if you suspect your cat or dog ate something they shouldn’t have.
Many decorations pose a choking hazard or, if consumed, may get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract and require surgery to be removed. Try to decorate appropriately and keep as much as possible out of reach of your pet. Setting up baby gates or foldable metal pens can help keep your pets safe and out of things they shouldn’t be getting into.
Remember not to give your pets food from the table. Too many high fat foods can result in pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset in your pet. Many Christmas dinner ingredients, such as garlic, onion, raisins and nutmeg can be toxic to your pet. It also isn’t a good idea to allow your pet to chew on animal bones as they can splinter, cause gastrointestinal damage and fracture teeth.
Any Christmas sweets, such as chocolate or anything containing xylitol, can be toxic to your pet. Make a point to keep these out of reach in a tightly sealed container. Even if the box is wrapped, under the tree your pet can smell it and chew through the packaging. If you notice any vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, incoordination, seizures or lethargy please see a veterinarian immediately as it is possible your pet got into something toxic.
Try to keep your pets away from alcohol as it can be very damaging to the liver and kidneys. Warning signs your pet has consumed alcohol include vomiting, disorientation, difficulty urinating, and dehydration. Other more serious signs include collapse and coma. Call your vet immediately if your pet has consumed alcohol
The holidays are a popular time to throw a party or host guests. Just make sure you’re keeping an eye on your pets in the process. Keep your pets far away from guests’ bags. Your guests might not know if something they have is toxic to your pet (such as gum containing xylitol, medication like ibuprofen or cosmetics containing alcohol). If your pet exhibits unusual lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, call your vet immediately. Also keep in mind that having company can be stressful for dogs and cats. Try to ensure your pet has a quiet safe place to retreat to if things get too hectic.
Some dogs, especially smaller toy breeds and those with short-hair coats, may need a sweater or jacket to keep warm. It’s also important to keep your pet’s paws protected from frostbite, booties are a great option for this. Pet parents should also look out for older dogs with compromised immune systems and dogs with endocrine issues. Colder temperatures can also exacerbate arthritis in some pets. Talk to your veterinarian should you notice your pet showing signs of discomfort, such as reluctance to exercise, limping, and unusual vocalization when moving.
As the temperature drops, some folks will need to break out the antifreeze to keep their cars running smoothly. This product should be kept far out of your pet’s reach. Antifreeze contains a chemical called ethylene glycol and pets are attracted to its sweet taste, but if a dog or cat ingests even a small amount of it, there can be serious, and even fatal, repercussions. If you fear your pet has ingested antifreeze, bring her to the veterinarian immediately so he or she can be treated with an antidote to prevent acute kidney failure.
This year we will be hosting a giveaway of two gift baskets, the contents of which have been supplied by some of our amazing reps. There will be a gift basket for cat owners and one for dog owners. To enter to win please bring in a pet food donation or a handmade ornament (one ornament per pet please). Each donation and ornament will be good f or one entry into the draw. The winner will be contacted in the new year. Good luck to everyone who enters!
Wishing you and everyone you love a very happy holiday season and all the best in the new year. Merry Christmas from everyone here at Silver Springs Animal Hospital!