Holiday Hazards for Your Pets

Posted by on December 13, 2011

Ashley Dostal holds Koda

Avoid an emergency veterinary visit this holiday season

(This list was compiled by Ashley Dostal, Veterinarian Technology student at MSB-Shakopee, as part of a class project with Instructor Cassie Panning, CVT. Photo Credit Allison Burnham, VT student.)

 Though beautiful and inspirational, holiday decorations can pose a number of hazards for your pet. Since these items are seasonal, responsible pet owners should show extra caution around the new addition to their pet’s environment. Some objects that may cause health problems for your pet are batteries, tinsel, holiday lights, ornaments, holiday plants, and chocolate. Read on to find out objects to avoid to prevent an emergency visit to the veterinarian this holiday season.

Batteries are toxic due to containing corrosives. If a pet ingests a battery, it can cause serious ulceration in the mouth, tongue and intestine.

Tinsel, especially to cats, looks shiny and fun to play with but if tinsel is ingested it can cause severe injuries or even rupture the intestine. The end result can be an expensive abdominal surgery or death.

Holiday lights can cause electric shock if a dog or cat chews on the wire. This can cause breathing difficulty, abnormal heart rhythm, loss of consciousness and death. So when it comes to putting up the festive lights, put them in a place your pets do not have access to inside and outside of your home.

Ornaments can cause severe problems to the digestive system if they are eaten. If glass ornaments are ingested they can tear the tissues and gastrointestinal tract.

Holiday plants, especially poinsettias and lilies found in holiday arrangements can cause your pets severe problems, and even death, if eaten. Tiger, Asian, Japanese are a few types of lilies that can cause acute kidney failure in cats.

According to Veterinary Technology instructor, Sheree Peterson, CVT, “Poinsettias cause GI upset, oral irritation, hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea and dermatitis, where the plant’s oils have touched the skin.”

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Within one to four hours, pets that have ingested chocolate may show signs of vomiting, increased thirst, diarrhea, weakness, difficulty maintaining balance and abnormal heart rhythms. Death may occur. The severity of these symptoms will vary depending on what type of and how much chocolate is ingested.

By monitoring your pet around these six decorative items, you may save your pet, and yourself, a lot of pain this holiday season.

Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.