It’s a wonderful time of year, full of fun, festive decorations, family and your canine family members as well! But this can also be a dangerous time of year for dogs. While it is an urban myth that Poinsettia are the most dangerous holiday item for dogs, there are actually many more toxic holiday hazards you need to watch for. The emergency veterinarians at VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital (www.vrcc.com) share with us one case and then the top things for you to keep an eye on in your holiday home.
Nicholas is a Bernese Mountain dog and you see his two x-rays after ending up in the E.R. at VRCC. He ate about 15 feet of Christmas garland, which you can see on the x-ray in the light area under the ribs and to the right of the spine. The garland was removed using an endoscope, snaking the scope down the mouth and esophagus so the garland could be grasped with a special tool and removed from the stomach. Nicholas was uncomfortable for a few days while his esophagus and stomach healed up, but he recovered and is doing fine.
Other holiday hazards for dogs include:
- Spray on snow/flocking, foil, plastic wrap/shrink-wrap, Styrofoam peanuts.
- XMAS Tree Food/Preservatives: If you are using a real tree in a plant stand, cut off access to the stand with a heavy tree skirt. Veterinarians at VRCC say sugar-based tree preservatives and tree food/water can harbor dangerous bacteria and a thirsty dog may decide to use the tree stand as a drinking bowl.
- Batteries: It may be great to have batteries for that new, cool toy but chewing or swallowing batteries is extremely toxic. Acid burns from chewing and causing a leak in the battery are common as well as cuts from the metal casing.
- Potpourri: The spicy smell can fill the house with a wonderful scent, but dogs can experience irritation and corrosion of the eyes, mouth, throat and esophagus if exposed to the liquid form.
Hopefully, these valuable emergency room tips from VRCC will help keep you and your entire family safe and happy this holiday season.