During the holidays, here at Blue Sky Veterinary Clinic, we see a lot of preventable health hazards this time of year. Although we love seeing our clients and patients throughout the year; we would love more preventing any unnecessary emergency visits this holiday season. With the holiday season comes a risk of ribbon, wrapping paper, small toys and a wonderful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections, and other rich, fattening foods. These items, if ingested may cause theobromine/caffeine toxicosis. Sources of chocolate commonly found under the Christmas tree include chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, chocolate-covered espresso beans, chocolate-covered raisins, truffles, etc. This may induce a dual toxicosis with caffeine from espresso beans (e.g., causing hypertension( high blood pressure), tachycardia( high heart rate), agitation, seizures, etc.), macadamia nuts (e.g., causing weakness, ataxia(unsteady/wobbly gait), tremors, hyperthermia(fever), pancreatitis, etc.), or raisins (e.g., acute kidney failure). Ribbon, bows, wrapping paper and small gifts like toys and books can also be ingested and cause blockages and/or stomach sickness. Keeping your pet safe starts with knowing what they have access to at all times, including what's hiding under your Christmas tree. The following list of foods is some of the common holiday snacks you might find in a household during the holidays, that you'll want to keep away from your pets.
- Foods containing grapes, raisins, and currants (such as Fruitcakes) can cause acute kidney failure.
- Chocolate toxicity and cocoa contain theobromine - Toxicity can lead to agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, and more severe cases can cause, cardiotoxicity: high heart rates, arrhythmias; neurotoxicity: tremors, seizures, etc.
- Many sugarless gums and candies may contain Xylitol - Xylitol is a sweetener toxic to dogs. Xylitol toxicosis results in clinical signs of hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) and potential acute liver necrosis when toxic doses are ingested. One piece of gum is enough to cause hypoglycemia in many of our canine friends.
- Left-over table scraps, high in fats/grease/spices can cause serious gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis leading to abdominal pain, vomiting, and hemorrhagic diarrhea.
If you notice your pet is acting different, seems in distress or ingests any of the items mentioned above please do not hesitate to give us a call at 541-383-3833. If you are having an emergency after hours, please contact the Animal Emergency Center of Central Oregon at 541-385-9110