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Human foods may be poison to your dog
Turkey bones are just one of the many holiday hazards for our pets. We get distracted with preparations and celebration for the holidays and may not watch them as closely as we should. Turkey bones should be securely wrapped before putting them in the trash. These bones are lethal because they are small and shatter easily. They can cut or lodge in the digestive tract. Or we make them sick by sharing too many holiday treats with them. Whatever the reason, veterinarians see too many pets during the holidays with diarrhea, poisoning and obstructed or perforated bowel problems. Turkey is just one of the "dangers". Dogs and cats are not used to fatty or rich foods. Feeding them turkey skin, ham fat, dressing or gravy can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreas problems. Cookies and candies also can produce the same symptoms. Chocolate, especially the type used in baking, can be very toxic or even deadly. Liquor, beer and wine also are dangerous.
Other things to watch for are:
Macadamia nuts. In the past five years we have become aware that macadamia nuts, when ingested by dogs, can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, and tremors. The amount of nuts required to produce these signs is quite variable, but there have been sufficient numbers of documented reports to warrant being especially careful to keep these away from your curious dog. What is in macadamia nuts that cause this kind of toxicosis is unknown. Typically, signs appear within 12 hours of ingestion and in the majority of cases resolve in less than 24 hours. It would be wise to keep these nuts out of your dogs reach at all times.
Grapes - Raisins. Dogs also may be very sensitive to an unknown chemical in grapes, raisins, or juice/wine made from grapes. The toxic dose of grape products can be as low as 0.1 mg/kg, which means less than one grape or raisin may be poisonous to a 10 pound dog. Older or sick animals are the most susceptible. Symptoms usually start with vomiting, diarrhea and or depression. Without intensive supportive therapy, death from kidney failure usually occurs within one to four days.Coffee is also dangerous to dogs. Watch out for grounds and whole beans.
Nicotine is a stimulant that can increase the heart rate leading to collapse, and in the worst case, even death.
Alcoholic beverages should be kept away from dogs year-round.
In addition, keep all leftover food out of reach in a closed container. Any garbage can contain toxins such as e-coli that can affect your pet's organs. This includes leftover aluminum foil that, when chewed, can obstruct your dog's intestinal tract. But even with good precautions, "accidents" do occur; so if you find your pet has eaten any of the above foods contact your veterinarian or emergency center right away.
Be cautious this holiday season and throughout the year.
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