Avoid These Christmas Dangers

Avoid These Christmas Dangers

As we celebrate the end of what has been a challenging year for most, calls to the Animal Poisons Helpline are on the rise. The festive season brings a change of routine and as poisons become more accessible to our pets, it is no surprise that the Christmas period is one of the busiest times of the year for the Helpline. Please keep your pets safe over the holidays and watch out for the following dangers.
🥧 Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings – All grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas are potentially toxic to dogs as are foods that contain them. Ingestion can cause severe kidney damage.
🍫 Chocolate – Contains methylxanthine compounds which are toxic to dogs and cats. Darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has negligible levels of methylxanthines, whilst dark baking chocolate and cocoa contain the highest amounts.
🎄 Tinsel – What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can prove deadly if ingested. Tinsel can cause severe damage to your pets’ gastrointestinal tract and treatment can involve expensive surgical intervention.
🌰 Macadamia Nuts – Often found in biscuits or even eaten as a decadent Christmas snack, these nuts are toxic to dogs and cause hind limb lameness, pain, and weakness. Other nuts, whilst not truly toxic to dogs, contain lots of natural fats that can trigger pancreatitis if ingested in large amounts.
🍭 Xylitol – A real killer, many sugarless gums and lollies contain xylitol as a sweetener. It may also be found in baked goods. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and possibly liver failure.
🔋 Batteries – Button batteries are easily caught in the oesophagus and, when stuck, can start to cause damage very quickly. When swallowed, the electrical current in a button battery reacts with moisture to produce a strong alkali chemical. This chemical can cause serious internal burns and bleeding. The batteries can also leak chemicals which can cause serious harm.
🍾 Alcohol – Pets may help themselves to any alcohol left unattended including wine and liqueurs and ingestion can cause similar signs in them as it does in their owners when drunk in excess. Dogs can become wobbly and drowsy and in severe cases there is a risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma.
🥩 BBQ and Platter Meats – Greasy, salty, and delicious. Highly attractive to our pets and if given a chance, many will rapidly eat all that is available to them. Excessive consumption of fatty foods can bring on a bout of pancreatitis and large amounts of salt can result in dangerous high sodium levels. Dogs often lick dirty BBQ plates that are sitting aside waiting to be cleaned (sometimes they are already covered in caustic grill cleaners).
🐡 Beach Dangers – Include snakes, beached puffer fish and blue bottles to name a few. Many dogs are very inquisitive and will approach these dangerous animals in the blink of an eye.
We wish you all a safe and happy holiday, and we look forward to continuing to assist you and your pets in 2021.



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