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Christmas Poisons

Christmas Poisons
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It’s Christmas again; the time of year when we have a spike in patients coming through the door after having eaten something they shouldn’t. For  us  it is a time for festive treats, but a lot of these can be toxic to our pets.

Christmas Trees – Fir, Spruce and Pine trees are all considered to be of low toxicity to pets. Main signs to look for will be gastrointestinal upset and skin irritation.

Christmas Plants (Poinsetta, Holly, Mistletoe) – Similar to the Christmas tree, however depending on the exposure, they can all produce different signs from gastrointestinal signs to increased salivation and skin irritation.

Chocolate – Considered to be toxic to our pets. At low levels we see gastrointestinal signs, but increased ingestion can lead to muscle tremors, and even death. The darker and more cocoa they contain the more toxic they are.  The basic rule of thumb is not to allow any contact with chocolate.

Grapes, Raisins, Currants and Sultanas – As with chocolate these are all considered very toxic. We recommend that any ingestion should be treated as soon as possible, no matter how small.  

Decorations – Everyone likes a shiny Christmas decoration, however so do many of our dogs and cats! Ingestion of any decoration can cause blockages, and chewing lights can cause electric shocks, so be aware.

These are just a few which can cause toxicities, do not forget about onions, garlic, alcohol and antifreeze to name but a few….

It’s not simply the ingestion of poisons that we need to consider over the Christmas period it is also the wellbeing of our pets. It can be very stressful this time of year for those animals which like a routine, and are used to a quiet household; so we have put together a few helpful hints:

  • Create a safe, comfortable place to hide and escape the noise. With bedding that’s of a familiar smell to help them feel more secure.
  • Always ensure there is an open door to allow your pet to escape to their comfort zone.
  • Consider using pheromone diffusers in the areas where they will be spending most of their time. These release ‘happy pheromones’ and make our pets feel more comfortable.

If your pet ingests or comes into contact with any of these toxins, please phone your local Pennard branch immediately. We have Vets and Nurses on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you, or to simply ease your mind.