ATTENTION: Dangers for dogs & cats at Christmas time
Poisoned with chocolate? Operation needed because of tinsel? So you don‘t have to bring your four-legged friends to the vet over Christmas, we'll tell you the most common reasons why veterinary clinics are well attended around Christmas and how you can easily avoid the Christmas dangers.
Poisoning by chocolate
All too often, one or the other of our four-legged friends take on the candy plate or a chocolate Santa Claus and then lands a short time later with a serious chocolate poisoning at the Vets.
The culprit is the substance, theobromine in the chocolate. While humans can degrade theobromine with the enzyme cytochrome, this is not possible in dogs and cats.
Too much chocolate can be deadly
Excessive chocolate consumption can be fatal to pets! And in principle, the higher the cocoa content, the more dangerous. Dark chocolate can lead to massive poisoning symptoms.
The first signs of poisoning are nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, tremors, and cramps.
If your four-legged friend has snacked on chocolate, be sure to go to the vet
If you catch your four-legged friend while snacking or if he shows symptoms of chocolate poisoning, you should definitely go directly to the vet. If possible, take the chocolate wrapper with you and tell the vet how much and when your pet has eaten the chocolate.
If the intake is less than two hours, the chocolate is still in the stomach. Then, the veterinarian can induce the animal to vomit, which significantly reduces the risk. If your pet was alone during the day and has eaten the chocolate decorations, then a detoxification therapy including infusions and targeted drainage must be carried out.
How do you prevent chocolate poisoning? Of course, chocolate is absolutely taboo for your four-legged friend! Keep all chocolate out of reach of your pet at Christmas time.
Christmas tree with tinsel and Christmas balls
Shining tinsel, colourful glass balls - the Christmas tree is the symbol of Christmas and also the biggest source of danger for your four-legged friend.
Christmas decoration can become a real danger
Dogs and cats like to play with glass balls. The danger of the balls being eaten or broken is great.
The playful instinct of cats is instantly awakened with glittering tinsel. However, the colorful threads not only often contain lead, but can also lead to massive indigestion and closure of the intestinal tract. Already more often vets have had to remove tinsel threads from cats or whole glass balls from dogs at Christmas time.
Avoid using tinsel or use paper tinsel and hang the glass balls at a height that is unreachable for your four-legged friend.
What to do if the Christmas decoration was eaten?
Have you seen that your cat or your dog has eaten the Christmas decorations, then go, depending on the severity, (was a whole tinsel thread swallowed, pieces of a glass ball have been swallowed?) Directly to the vet. At the latest when symptoms, such as vomiting, gastrointestinal noise, diarrhea, cramps or loss of appetite appear then the visit is necessary.
If a dog or a cat is brought to the Vet with the assumption that a foreign body has been swallowed, they begin the examination by palpating the abdomen.
A contrast agent makes the foreign body visible during an x-ray of the chest and abdomen. If the foreign body is in the stomach, then a colonoscopy is performed and the foreign body removed. However, if the foreign body is in the intestine and has possibly caused a bowel obstruction, then an operation must be performed on your four-legged friend.
Burns from candles and fairy lights
Christmas without candles? Difficult to imagine! But the curiosity of our four-legged friends can lead to burns of the whiskers or the nasal cavity. In general, you should never leave your pets alone with burning candles, because if the dog wags the tail or the cat plays, the Christmas decorations can be a real fire hazard.
Even fairy lights are dangerous. Because the cables are nibbled, threatening painful electric shocks. Best place the candles out of the reach of your four-legged friend and blow them out before you leave the room. Do you have a "nibbler" at home, then hide the cable of the fairy lights or pull the plug.
As you can see, the most contemplative time of the year is not without danger for our four-legged friends. To make Christmas a feast of joy for you and your four-legged friend, take note of these simple precautionary measures.
So nothing can go wrong!
We wish you, your family and your four-legged friends a Merry Christmas.
All the best, AniForte