The Thanksgiving holiday evening and weekend is one of the busiest for emergency veterinarians.
Pet owners can avoid needless pain for their pet, plus costly vet bills, by remembering some helpful tips from Houston Humane Society:
- Grapes, Chocolate and an artificial sweetener called “xylitol” are food items that make dogs the sickest. They should be treated like poisons requiring immediate action.
- Chocolate– if ingested, can cause life- threatening neurological issues for dogs, seizures and even cardiac arrest. Seek emergency care in all cases if your dog eats chocolate.
- Grapes and Raisins – the tartaric acid in grapes and raisins is toxic to dogs and can completely shut down their liver function. Any ingestion of grapes or raisins is a canine emergency. If you are having charcuterie as part of your Thanksgiving feast, be sure you keep grapes and raisins far out of reach of the family dog.
- Xylitol is a common sugar substitute used in many sweet treats, however it is fatal to your furry friend. Make sure any food made with the additive is safely kept away from pets during the holiday and seek IMMEDIATE emergency care if a pet ingests any food with any amount of xylitol added. Xylitol ingestion in canines causes severe hypoglycemia and should be taken very seriously.
- Keep choking hazards away from pets – dogs and cats can choke on small bones and other hazards, so make sure your pets don’t get access to table scraps, decorations or the holiday trash with all its tempting smells. Likewise, decorations like pine cones and tinsel can be attractive to pets --- only to become choking hazards or possibly a bowel obstruction if successfully ingested.
- Holiday Plants – some holiday plants can make pets sick. Amaryllis, poinsettia, holly berries, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William –ingesting these can potentially cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, constipation or other unpleasant side effects.
If you find yourself in a pet emergency this holiday, remember this:
- Prepare The Emergency Clinic with as much info as possible by bringing the nutrition facts of the food ingested if possible. Note the exact time and any other details to help make your dog's treatment more effective for their case.
- Be prepared to wait. Lifesaving veterinary care is performed 24/7 at these clinics, and the most critical patients will be seen first just like in a human ER. Be kind to the veterinary staff and technicians as they spend their holiday saving your fur baby.
- Follow up with your regular DVM. The reason that emergency clinic numbers spike so highly on holidays boils down to this: accidents happen, even when your pup's regular vet clinic is closed and their staff is on Holiday. When toxic ingestion happens, treatment CANNOT wait. Provide the Emergency clinic with your regular DVM's information so that all records can be transferred over so your furry friend can recover with the vet staff they know after the holiday closure.
Houston Humane Society Wellness Clinic is closed Thanksgiving Day, but will be open for after care all day on Black Friday 11/25. For information, visit houstonhumane.org