Thanksgiving Dangers

Thanksgiving is a time of family and cheer. A time to get together and eat good food and drink good drinks and enjoy one another’s company. But there are potential dangers for your pet that lurk around your turkey and pies. Knowing the possible risks make keeping your pet safe at this time of year much, much easier.

 

Alcohol

Cheers! As cheers and well wishes are passed around, keep in mind that alcohol poisoning is a very real threat and surprisingly common. Drinks that are left unattended are vulnerable to the wandering eye, and thus stomach, of your four-legged party animal. Beer and wine may appear unassuming but are absorbed quickly through the mouth or skin. If enough is absorbed, it may cause a heart attack, which can be fatal. Keep in mind too, for that long morning after – acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are dangerous as well, with cats being more sensitive and can be far more affected with half the dosage.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include depression, drooling, vomiting, slowed breathing and heart rate, decreased body temperature, delayed reflexes, or involuntary defecation or urination. Signs of alcohol poisoning usually begin within thirty to sixty minutes from ingestion.

If your pet experiences alcohol poisoning, getting them immediate medical care is key. They need to be stabilized with supportive treatments to rid their body of the alcohol and regulate their body temperature. If you’re unsure if that’s what is happening, give us a call and we’re always happy to help.

 

Bread Dough

Unbaked bread dough contains yeast which can be toxic for your furry friend. The yeast turns sugars in the dough into carbon dioxide, which then expands in your pet’s stomach. This can lead to bloat, which is extremely dangerous and is fatal in nearly thirty percent of the animals it afflicts. Knowing what causes it and what to do if it happens gives your pet the best possible chance at survival.

Symptoms include unsuccessful attempts to vomit, depression, a distended stomach, restlessness and anxiety, and licking the air.

A positive outcome is reliant on swift actions and treatment. Depression of the stomach will be performed, and in some cases – surgery. While all animals can fall victim to bloat from raw bread dough, dogs are more commonly afflicted because they tend to follow wherever their nose leads them.

 

Let’s Talk Turkey!

What Thanksgiving is complete without the star of the show? But it’s important to have a certain special family member sit this meal out. Turkey bones are hollow because that’s how their body can support flight. But what they don’t support is pet health. Because of the hollow nature of the bones, they’re more likely to splinter within your pet’s stomach. It’s just as bad as it sounds! Splintering can cause severe damage to your pet’s intestines through either an infection or blockage. Both can be serious. The symptoms vary by location of the blockage.

With a throat blockage, your pet will likely excessively lick their lips or vomit immediately after eating.

A stomach blockage will cause them to vomit a few hours after eating.

A small intestine blockage will induce vomiting, diarrhea, and a bloated stomach.

Without treatment, it could be fatal within just a handful of days. But with treatment, your pet should be just fine.

 

Now Let’s Talk Trimmings

The turkey may be the star of the show, but what’s a star without supporting roles? There are lots of foods that we consume that are harmful to our pets. Knowing them is the first step to keeping your furry loved ones safe. We’ve already discussed the dangers of turkey bones, but the skin of the turkey is equally unsafe. Meat drippings, stuffing made with onion, garlic, or chives. Chocolate, undercooked meat, and even the artificial sweetener Xylitol. If you’re more a bread pudding person than a pie person, raisins are also toxic and can lead to kidney failure. Intake of these items can cause a plethora of stomach issues – vomiting, diarrhea, internal injury, or even pancreatitis. Symptoms of poisoning usually begin within twelve hours of consuming the toxic food, so keeping a watchful eye on your pet is a must.

Let’s talk a little about pancreatitis. Your pet’s pancreas is responsible for helping to digest food through the release of the enzymes. But with pancreatitis, enzymes are activated prematurely, which can cause damage to the surrounding areas – internal organs and tissues. Symptoms of pancreatitis include diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, fever, vomiting, a bloated stomach, or a hunched back. Pancreatitis requires prompt medical care. We need to stabilize your pet’s condition, monitor their vitals, treat any existing pain, and administer fluids.

Preventative care is always the best care and knowing the dangers that exist more frequently around this time of year can help keep your pet as safe as possible.

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