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Page 76 NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2015 33 Top 5 Holiday Dangers to Pets PREVENTIVE MEASURES CAN SAVE PETS Take preventive measures to protect your pets this holiday season. Being aware of these top five dangers could save you a trip to the veterinary emergency room. No. 1 HolidayTinsel and Ornaments Tinsel while not toxic is very attractive to pets particularly cats. The shiny dangling decoration reflects light and can move in the slightest draft appearing to come alive to watchful critters. The problem with tinsel is that once its consumed it can cause seri- ous injury to your pet. If not caught in time this foreign body ingestion could actually be fatal as it twists and bunches inside your pets in- testines. Immediate veterinary care is required. In addition bright and colorful tree ornaments can attract your pets curiosity. Place glass alu- minum and paper ornaments high- er up on the tree. Pets can chew and swallow these fragile objects and not only can broken pieces form sharp edges that may lacerate your pets mouth throat and intestines they could also create a choking hazard. No. 2 Holiday Lighting and Candles Got a pet that likes to chew Twinkling shiny and dangling holiday lights such as the icicle netting garland curtain rope and candle varietal may be another source of danger to your curious pets. Electrical shock may occur when a pet chomps down on an elec- trical cord causing tongue lacerations and possible death. Check your holiday lights for signs of fraying or chewing and use a grounded three- prong extension cord as a safety precaution. If you have candles on dis- play place them in a hard-to-reach spot so that your pets can not access them. Not only can pets seriously burn themselves but knocking over candles creates a fire hazard and may leave a trail of hot wax that will easily burn the pads of paws and more. No. 3 GiftWrap Ribbon You may be tempted to fashion your pet with a decorative ribbon collar but beware that this could become a choking hazard. Also its best to quickly discard ribbons and bows wrapped around holiday gifts so that your curious companions wont be enticed to chew or swallow them. Ingested ribbon can cause a choking hazard and ul- timately twist throughout the intestines leading to emergency surgery and even death. No. 4 Food Hazards Festive events often mean edible treats and lots of them. Unfor- tunately some of the most popular holiday goodies such as choco- late and nuts can be extremely toxic or fatal to pets. Chocolate contain various levels of fat caffeine and the chemical substances methylxanthines which stimulate the nervous and car- diovascular systems. Humans metabolize the chemicals relatively quickly animals process them more slowly so the effects are more pronounced. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingest- ed pets might experience vomiting diarrhea muscle spasms excessive panting hyperactive behavior seizures and dehydration all of which can cause death. Abundant in many cookies and candies certain nuts should not be given to pets. Almonds walnuts Macadamia nuts and pistachios can cause an upset stomach an obstruction of your dogs throat andor in- testinal tract seizures or neurological symptoms. Lethargy vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of nut ingestion. Pea- nuts roasted cashews not raw and hazelnuts are not toxic to pets but should only be allowed in moderation. Fat trimmings and bones are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat both cooked and uncooked may cause pancreatitis. And although it seems natural to give a dog a bone a dog can choke on it bones can also splin- ter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dogs digestive system. No. 5 Toxic Holiday Plants They may be pretty but some holiday plants are poisonouseven deadly. As little as a sin- gle leaf from any lily variety is lethal to cats. Others to avoid Christmas tree pine needles can produce oral irritation vomiting diarrhea lethargy trembling and posterior weakness. Holly commonly found during the Christmasseasoncancauseintensevomitingdiarrheaanddepression. Mistletoe another Christmas plant can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea difficulty breathing collapse erratic behavior hallucinations and death when ingested. Poinsettias can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and some- times vomiting. Taking precautions with pets during these festive times can help en- sure that you and your family will enjoy a happy and healthy hol- iday season Content courtesy of Veterinary Pet Insurance A Nationwide Company Often during the holidays families will experience some added chaos and a unique set of dangers for their pets. With all the hubbub it can be easy for pets to accesscandyribbonandotherpotentially harmful items or for a pet to run outside unnoticed when guests arrive. We want the holiday season to be a festive and safe time for every member of your family. A little extra caution can go a long way in keeping your furry friends safe. - Dr. Brian Benjamin Ohio Drive Animal Hospital