AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the holidays fast approaching, Dessau Veterinary Clinic is raising awareness about the dangers that many common holiday decorations, foods and celebratory traditions can pose to pets. These hazards include certain decorations like tinsel, traditional holiday plants like poinsettia and mistletoe, holiday foods that are high in fat or contain chocolate, and pieces of small toys and gifts. North Austin veterinarian Dr. Kellee K. Campbell is reminding pet owners to keep a close eye on their pets throughout the holiday season and to seek immediate emergency veterinary care should pets exhibit any symptoms of health distress.
Dessau Veterinary Clinic founder Dr. Campbell says holiday decorations like tinsel and Christmas tree lights top her list for the most common holiday dangers.
“Curious pets will chew on light cords, which can cause electrocution,” warns Dr. Campbell. “Playing with tinsel is especially dangerous since the tinsel can block a pet’s intestines. Emergency surgery is necessary if this happens.”
Holiday foods are the second major hazard on Dr. Campbell’s list.
“From Halloween candies to a big Thanksgiving turkey dinner to holiday parties, food and celebrating the holiday season go hand in hand,” said Dr. Campbell. “Unfortunately, many of these treats are harmful to pets. Children can leave out Halloween candy, party goers can think it’s okay to feed the pets, and even well-meaning pet owners may mistakenly believe it’s okay to toss turkey bones to their dogs. These scenarios can lead to accidental poisoning, a punctured intestine and severe intestinal distress.”
Dr. Campbell warns pet owners to be careful when preparing their holiday treats. Raisins and baker’s chocolate, two common ingredients in cookies, can cause serious intestinal distress in pets. A large-enough dose for a small pet can even be fatal.
Plants rank third on Dr. Campbell’s holiday health hazards list. The veterinarian warns that poinsettia and mistletoe are both poisonous when ingested. “I always recommend pet owners opt for artificial plants rather than the real deal,” said Dr. Campbell. “Not only will this eliminate a potential poisoning risk for pets, but pet owners can also reuse the decorations from year to year.”
Small pieces of toys and gifts come in fourth on the health hazards list. Toys that require assembling or come in complicated packaging can look especially inviting to pets, says the veterinarian.
Finally, Dr. Campbell warns pet owners about well-intentioned out-of-town visitors who may not be used to spending prolonged time with dogs and cats. “People who are not used to being around pets may not realize that simple things, like leaving medication out, can be dangerous,” said Dr. Campbell. “Pet owners need to be vigilant.”
Dessau Veterinary Clinic provides wellness care, emergency pet care, and pet surgery for North Austin and Pflugerville. For more information on these services or holiday health hazards, visit www.dessauvetclinic.com.
Dessau Veterinary Clinic, (512) 339-3177
Source:Dessau Veterinary Clinic