As summer wraps up, along with its allergies and high troublesome temperatures, fall takes over with its own hazards and concerns. When people think of fall, the first thing that comes to mind is usually Thanksgiving and Halloween. While these are times to celebrate for us, they can cause problems for our furry friends. Outlined below are some of the most common hazards and concerns surrounding the season of fall.
When decorating for the holiday, keep in mind the habits of your pet. Do you have a pet that often jumps onto furniture or a pet that nibbles on anything that is out of the ordinary? If so, you may want to try decorating above the level of your pet as well as in areas that they will not have access to. Ensure lit candles are out of range and are blown out when you are not monitoring them so your pet does not accidentally knock them over. Also, specific decorations (ex. tinsel, confetti or cattle corn) can lead to gastrointestinal upset or they may cause the animal to choke.
The main candy people are often concerned about is chocolate but, hard candies and candy wrappers are also a concern. Chocolate poisoning is due to a class of chemicals called methylxanthines which include theobromine and caffeine. Our pet’s bodies process these chemicals much slower than we do so, they are able to build up in the body and reach toxic levels. The less sweet and darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your pet because it contains more of these chemicals. Symptoms can range anywhere from vomiting/diarrhea to increased heart rate, tremors, seizures and even death depending on the amount of chocolate consumed. Hard candy and candy wrappers can also lead to gastrointestinal upset or they may cause the animal to choke.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you think your pet may have consumed a toxic ingredient, you can contact the clinic, if it is during our office hours, or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.
The Night of Halloween
If your pet is not normally anxious, it is still good practice to have a safe haven prepared for them to run off to if they are feeling overwhelmed. While the festivities may be enjoyable for us, screaming children, bright lights, unfamiliar noises and the continuous ringing of a doorbell may be scary for our pets. If your pet is normally anxious, it is best to keep them in a safe, quiet environment before the night even begins.
Certain human foods that are fairly common in holiday cooking can be toxic to our pets. Even if they are not toxic, they can also cause digestive problems.
Bacon, Meat Drippings, Nuts – Excess fatty food consumption carries a risk of resulting in pancreatitis. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and abdominal pain.
Grapes & Raisins – Risk of resulting in acute renal failure.
Turkey Bones – Cooked bones have the potential to splinter and cause gastrointestinal damage. They may also cause the animal to choke.
Garlic & Onions – Poisoning results in an increased possibility of red blood cells rupturing and gastroenteritis.
Even though the weather is getting cooler, parasites are still a concern in the fall. Specifically, we are mostly concerned about ticks and fleas.
Ticks are out whenever the temperature is above 4 degrees Celsius. At this time, you should be giving your pets parasite prevention to ensure ticks do not bite. Once they attach, ticks have the potential to transmit diseases, such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. They tend to quest in tall grasses or even raked leaf piles. If your dogs favourite fall activities are jumping in leaves or running through fields, it is great getting into the habit of checking them for ticks regularly, even if they are on prevention.
Leaf piles are not only a haven for ticks but, for fleas as well. Fleas tend to hide in humid areas away from direct sunlight, which make leaf piles a perfect environment for them. To decrease the prevalence of these two pesks in your own backyard, you should rake and dispose of yard waste regularly. As temperatures decrease in the fall, your pets warm body and developing winter coat is a cozy alternative for a flea. If you find one of your pets are infested with fleas, you must treat all animals in the household as well as the environment.
If you think your pet may have parasites or you have yet to pick up parasite prevention, give us a call today!