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Holiday Hazards for Pets                                        decorated Christmas tree crashing to the groundpotential-
                  My Pet Ate It, Now What?                      ly injuring the animal. Tree water may contain dangerous
Prompt veterinary care can help reduce the risk for seri-       fertilizers and stagnant tree water may contain unhealthy
ous illness or lessen the chances for complications from        bacteria.
injury associated with holiday hazards.                         Mistletoe and Holly

A veterinarian can perform testing to determine whether         Consuming holly may cause nausea, vomiting, and di-
a pet has suffered serious damage from chewing on or            arrhea. Eating mistletoe can result in stomach upset and
swallowing ornaments, eating fatty or potentially poi-          even heart problems. A cat may suffer kidney failure after
sonous food, or playing with seasonal decorations. Your         ingesting some types of lilies.

veterinarian can prescribe medications to soothe a belly        Chocolate
ache or counteract poison, perform x-rays and surgery to
overcome intestinal obstructions, and repair lacerations. A dog or cat that eats chocolate may experience vomit-
                                                                ing and diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, abnormal heart
If your pet encounters one of these holiday hazards, con- rhythm, seizures and, in severe cases, even death. The
tact your veterinarian immediately.                             darker the chocolate, the more toxic compounds it con-
The holidays are fun, even for pets, but the season brings
added danger for animal companions. Learn to recog- Turkey Meat and Bones
nize and manage holiday hazards to keep your pet safe
during the festivities.                                         Dogs and cats love turkey but this holiday fare may be dan-
                                                                gerous to their health. The immediate pet hazard associat-
                                                                ed with turkey are the tiny bones that, if swallowed, may
Tinsel                                                          cause painful constipation or even splinter to perforate the

Tinsel is attractive, especially to cats. Tinsel is not toxic   stomach; both conditions require immediate veterinary
but consuming tinsel can cause serious harm to your             attention. Feeding rich and fatty food like that served at
pet’s digestive system. The long, tough strands can actu-       holiday parties can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even
ally cut through the intestine and cause peritonitis.           inflammation of the pancreas. Raw or undercooked turkey
                                                                can contain Salmonella, E. coli, or Campylobacter bacteria
                                                                that can lead to food poisoning.

Pets love to play with bright, colorful ornaments, but          Sage
may end up breaking or even chewing and swallowing
these fragile decorations. Sharp, broken pieces can lacer-      The herb sage contains essential oils and resins that add
ate the animal’s mouth, throat, and digestive tract. Larger     flavor to turkey and other holiday foods but this herb can
pieces can cause an obstruction and emergency surgery           cause an upset stomach and even nervous system problems
                                                                in pets – especially cats.

may be needed.                                                  Dough

Christmas Trees                                                 Consuming raw bread dough is dangerous for pets, as heat

Cats love to climb trees, especially when the tree is           from the animal’s body causes the dough to rise inside its
indoors and loaded with ornaments and other decora-             stomach. The pet may experience vomiting, severe abdom-
tions that look a lot like cat toys. A climbing cat can pull    inal pain and bloating.

a fully decorated Christmas tree crashing to the ground,        Any pet encountering these holiday hazards may need im-
potentially injuring the animal. Tree water may contain         mediate veterinary care for a complete examination, blood
dangerous fertilizers and stagnant tree water may con-          tests, x-rays, medications, and even surgery. Make this
tain unhealthy bacteria.                                        holiday season merry for everyone, including your pets, by
doors and loaded with ornaments and other decorations           keeping pets safe from these potential holiday hazards.
that look a lot like cat toys. A climbing cat can pull a fully

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