08 Dec Christmas Pet Poison Dangers
With Christmas rapidly approaching and us humans indulging in a little festive frivolity, it can be a dangerous time for pets, with tempting but potentially poisonous treats adorning every surface. Curious pets, particularly dogs, may explore and eat gifts left under the tree, food in the kitchen or chew on plants decorating the house.
Make sure you avoid these common dangers to keep your pets safe this festive season;
· Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings – All grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are toxic to dogs; as are foods that contain them. Ingestion can cause severe kidney damage.
· Chocolate – Contains methylxanthines which are toxic to dogs. Darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has negligible levels of methylxanthines, while dark baking chocolate contains 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 gastrointestinal surgery.
· Macadamia nuts – Often found in biscuits or eaten as a decadent Christmas snack, these nuts are toxic to dogs and cause hind limb lameness, pain and weakness.
· Xylitol – Many sugarless gums and lollies contain xylitol, a sweetener which is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and 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 burns.
· Alcohol – Dogs may help themselves to any alcohol left unattended including wine and liqueurs and it 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.