Keeping Pets Healthy During the Holidays
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
PHILADELPHIA -- Dr. Kenneth Drobatz, chief of the Emergency Service at the Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, offers the following tips to keep pets healthy, and out of the emergency room, during the holidays.
- Maintain your dog and cat's regular diet. Treats of turkey, ham, gravy, cookies and other goodies can lead to gastro-intestinal upsets (diarrhea and vomiting).
- Dispose of all bones carefully so that pets cannot get them. Poultry bones are particularly dangerous as they splinter and can perforate intestines or lodge in the esophagus.
- Keep chocolate, macadamia nuts, and alcoholic beverages out of pets' reach. They are toxic to animals.
- Keep pets away from tinsel. Dogs and cats like to eat it, and tinsel (particularly plastic tinsel), can cut the intestines and cause severe injuries. If you suspect your animal has ingested tinsel, contact your veterinarian at once.
- Electric wires pose another hazard, particularly to puppies and kittens that may try to chew the wires. If they succeed, they can suffer electric burns or electric shock that can cause seizures, heart problems, loss of consciousness and, eventually, accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
- Glass ornaments are hazardous as they break easily; pets can ingest the splinters, cutting their mouth or intestines.
- Ornament hooks, when swallowed, can damage the mouth or esophagus and should be kept out of reach.
- Dough ornaments, because of high salt content, are not good for pets. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, seizures.
- Holly and mistletoe berries are toxic to pets when ingested. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and dehydration.
GIFTS FOR YOUR PET
Give toys that are too big to be swallowed or get caught in the animal’s throat. Don't give anything with a string attached, and remove bells or squeakers from toys. All these things could be swallowed.
The best gifts you can give your pet during the holidays are play and quiet time with you. And for your dogs, regular walks are always welcome.
Ryan Veterinary Hospital has a 24-hour emergency service that can be reached at 215-898-4685.
Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One Medicine. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients, from pets to horses to farm animals at our two campuses. In Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for companion animals, as well as classrooms, laboratories and the School's administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., encompasses hospital facilities for the care of horses and food animals as well as diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry. The School has successfully integrated scholarship and scientific discovery with all aspects of veterinary medical education.
Visit us on-line at www.vet.upenn.edu