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Protect your Pet this Winter

The holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about potential dangers to your pets.
Anicare’s Dublin veterinary hospital’s have listed top tips to make sure you and your pets are winter ready.

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cat-150x1501.Holiday Decorations:
If you own a cat, shiny cords and tinsel can prove deadly if chewed or ingested. Tinsel does not pose a poisoning risk but can cause severe damage to a cat’s intestinal tract if swallowed. Ultimately, cats run the risk of severe injury to, or rupture of their intestines.

2. Plants:
Holiday bouquets containing Lilies, including tiger, Asiatic, stargazer, Easter and daylilies are the most dangerous plants for cats. One to two leaves or flower petals is enough to cause sudden kidney failure in cats. Poinsettia is also mildly toxic. Other yuletide pants such as holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets and can cause gastrointestinal upset and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.

3. Alcohol:
Because alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, it affects pets quickly. Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure. Additionally, foods such as desserts containing alcohol and unbaked dough that contains yeast should be kept away from pets as they may result in alcohol toxicity, vomiting, disorientation and stomach bloat.

4.Holiday Food:
With the holiday season comes a delightful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it is not wise (and in some cases is quite dangerous) to share these treats with your pets. Keep your pet on his or her regular diet over the holidays and do not let family and friends sneak in treats. Foods that can present problems:
Foods containing grapes, raisins, or currants (such as fruitcakes) can result in kidney dysfunction in dogs.
Chocholate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhoea but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
Leftover, fatty meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) leading to abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea.

xmas_43-150x1505. Weather Considerations:
Always consider keeping your pet indoors and provide as much shelter as possible. If you cannot bring your pet indoors, be sure there is adequate shelter to protect them from dropping temperatures. Always provided fresh water, and check against frozen waterdishes.Short-coated animals may require a jacket or sweater to help protect them from extreme temperatures.Consider buying boots for your dog or wash their paws after walks. Salt used to melt ice can irritate paws.
If you park your car and your engine is still warm on a cold night, cats that are roaming around the neighbourhood will crawl up in it. If you start your car they can be severely injured. A tip is to bang on your car’s bonnet before turning on the ignition.

6. Antifreeze:
Antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol, is extremely dangerous to dogs and cats, and they are attracted to it due to its sweet taste. Sources of ethylene glycol include automotive antifreeze, windscreen de-icing agents, motor oils, hydraulic brake fluid, paints, snow-globes, solvents, etc. As little as a tablespoon can result in severe acute kidney failure in dogs, while as little as 1 teaspoon can be fatal to cats. When dogs or cats are exposed to ethylene glycol, immediate treatment is necessary.When it comes to the holidays, the best thing a pet owner can do is get educated on common household toxins and pet-proof your home accordingly.
If you think your pet has been poisoned, contact your local Anicare veterinarian straight away.

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