Nov 05 2015

Turkey Day Take-Aways

This holiday season we are thankful for the bountiful spread we get to eat, the company of our loved ones, and the health of our furry little pilgrims. But even turkey day comes with its fair share of dangers for our pets, so follow this feast of information to a new world of animal health!

No Bones About It

The wish bone may be lucky for some, but not for your pets. Turkey bones are soft and tend to splinter when chewed. Sharp pieces can be ingested and cause all sorts of problems, from simple diarrhea to perforation of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Bone fragments can also become lodged and result in intestinal obstruction, a condition which requires immediate surgery to fix.

Pearl Onions of Wisdom

Those tiny, creamy, little flavor packets can be a big problem if ingested by your pet. Vegetables of the onion family can cause hemolytic anemia, or excessive destruction of red blood cells. Signs of this condition include lethargy, not eating, icterus (yellow skin), rapid breathing and a rapid heart rate. Treatment is lengthy, expensive and often requires hospitalization.

The Best of the Rest

There’s a reason the number one most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Holiday meals are loaded with enough fat and calories to keep you warm all winter long. While it can wreak havoc on your waistline, it can have even more devastating effects on your pet.

Rich, high fat foods like turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing can trigger a disease called pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas. In this condition, the digestive enzymes the pancreas produces actually start digesting itself, leading to inflammation and pain. Signs of pancreatitis include not eating, vomiting, diarrhea, a tense abdomen, reluctance to lie down, restlessness and icterus. Animals usually become extremely dehydrated and require hospitalization with IV fluids and pain control. Recovery is long, unpredictable and the disease can sometimes be fatal.

Remember these tasty tidbits this Thanksgiving to keep your pets happy and healthy. And if they start to beg for those leftovers, just remind them to be thankful for what they have.

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