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Poisons

Christmas KittenChristmas dangers for pets

Christmas time is a great time for family, food and fun.  However, there are dangers to your pet that you want to avoid.
Food
Chocolate : 70g of dark chocolate can be toxic to a 10kg dog.  It can lead to vomitting, diarrohea, a rapid heart rate, tremors, coma and death.
Grapes & Raisins : While some dogs seem to be able to eat these without effect, there are other dogs in which eating these can lead to kidney failure.  The take home message here is don't give yor dog raisins, grapes, mince pies, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake or anything else containing these food items - it just isn't worth the risk!
Rich Fatty Foods : Foods high in fat content can cause bouts of pancreatitis in dogs so don't give dogs the left over ham rind, chicken skin or any other fatty left-overs.
Bones : Bones when crunched on can splinter into sharp pieces; cooked bones especially.  Bones are the most common foreign body we surgically remove and also the most common cause of constipation.
Around the Christmas tree : Ribbons and tinsel can get caught in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction.
Electrical Cords : If chewed, can electrocute your pet to ensure the tree light cord is unable to be accessed.
Batteries : Are corrosive if ingested and will cause ulceration to the mouth, tongue and rest of the gastrointestinal tract.
Glass Ornaments : Can cut paws or the mouth or other parts of the gastrointestinal tract if chewed on or swallowed.
Plants : Lillies can be toxic to cats and cause kidney failure, so ensure any bouquets containing lillies are out of access of any cats in the house.
Holly : Ingestion of holly leaves can cause gastrointestinal upset with vomitting, diarrohea and lethargy.

 

Easter BunnyWhat makes a delicious treat for you could be potentially fatal for your four legged friend

 
Only two 350g Dairy Milk chocolate bars or only 60g of dark or cooking chocolate could cause a 10 kg dog to die. This is due to higher levels of theobrine, the toxic ingredient in dark chocolate. Dogs will usually become ill as early as one to four hours after eating chocolate. They get a very sore tummy and can vomit or have diarrhoea. Dogs can also become very excitable and start trembling which can progress to seizures, heart arrhythmias, coma and death.
 
There are lots of other tasty foods that are poisonous to dogs including raisins, onions, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, and any foods that have mould on them. It is best to not feed your pets any scraps.
 
If your dog eats any chocolate it is a good idea to ring your vet and tell them as soon as possible. It is helpful to know what kind of chocolate and how much was eaten to know if the dog has eaten a toxic amount or not.
 
 
Nikki Frost BSc, BVSc
Veterinarian
 
Rat Bait, Rabbit Bait, Possum Bait
Every year we see a number of dogs that have eaten rat poison.  The dogs have sometimes just been seen to eat poison and we are able to make them vomit it up, others are gravely ill from the effects of the poison.  Koda was a dog who was gravely ill as a result of liking the taste of the poisoned pellets.  The young labrador's owner had no idea that he had got into a bag of rat bait, but knew his dog wasn't right.  When he was brought to our Papakura clinic Koda had rapidly become very lethargic, his gums were pale and he was having problems breathing.  To read about Koda's case and what to do if your dog or cat has eaten or you suspect it has eaten rat bait, 
click here