Background Image
Previous Page  4 / 4
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 4 / 4
Page Background

WillowsVeterinary Centre

& Referral Service

Highlands Road Shirley Solihull

West Midlands B90 4NH

Telephone: 0121 712 7070

www.willows.uk.net

Follow us on Twitter

@willowsvets

Find us on Facebook

facebook.com/willowsvets

Festive poisons

Christmas is traditionally a time

for family, food and frivolity. For

most pet owners an emergency

visit to the vets might be the last

thing they would anticipate during

the holiday season, but for some

unfortunate pets this can be the

end result of a little too much

festive cheer.

Chocolate

poisoning is one of the

more common culprits amongst

dogs. It is also toxic to cats, rodents

and rabbits. The toxic component

in chocolate is a substance called

theobromine. The severity of the

poisoning depends on the amount

and the type of chocolate ingested

- dark chocolate is more toxic than

milk chocolate and white chocolate

is relatively non-toxic. Symptoms of

chocolate poisoning include vomiting,

diarrhoea, dehydration, hyperactivity

and a rapid heart rate. In extreme

cases convulsions (fits) can occur,

and liver damage may develop in the

longer term.

The high levels of caffeine in

coffee

can also be toxic to dogs, so take

care how you dispose of coffee

grounds from coffee makers! The

clinical signs are similar

to chocolate

poisoning.

Grapes

,

raisins

,

currants

and

sultanas

can cause kidney failure

in dogs. The mechanism for this

toxicity remains unknown, with

some dogs seemingly unaffected

after eating large quantities and

others developing symptoms after

as little as a few grapes or a handful

of raisins.

Christmas cakes

,

Christmas pudding

and

mince pies

are all packed full of forbidden fruit.

Other poisonous festive foods include

macadamia nuts

,

onions

and

mouldy foods (e.g.

walnuts

,

bread

and

cheese

). Artificial sweeteners

containing xylitol (also found in

sugar-free

chewing gum

) can cause

dangerously low blood sugar levels and

liver failure in dogs.

Plants such as

mistletoe

,

poinsettia

,

holly

and

ivy

can all cause an

upset tummy. Whilst

Christmas

decorations

and

candles

are non-

toxic, they have the potential to cause

an obstruction in the

gut if they are eaten

by an inquisitive dog

or cat.

Finally, festive overindulgence in

the form of a previously hungry

dog and a now missing turkey can

result in a nasty bout of vomiting

and diarrhoea!

So lock up your fruit cake, tie up

your turkey and seal the selection

box or Santa may be bringing you

a little more than you bargained

for this year...

If you are concerned that your

pet has eaten something which

might cause a problem, the

first thing to do is contact your

veterinary surgeon for advice. It

is very helpful for the vet if you

can get an idea of howmuch of

a substance has been eaten, and

also find any relevant packaging

materials which might give more

information about what might

have been ingested.

Many apparently harmless foods and other items around the

house can be a potential cause of poisoning or illness in our pets.

Other poisons and household dangers can be viewed by visiting

our Poisons and Household dangers Information Sheet:

www.willows.uk.net/poisons-household-dangers