5 Christmas doggie dangers (that all dog lovers need to know about)
Christmas is 'the most wonderful time of the year'. But at the vets it can be the 'most busy time of the year' for treating dogs who have eaten things that can poison, injure or generally just be bad for them. Treatment as soon after eating the toxin as possible and certainly before symptoms show is usually the most effective, so here are my top 5 to know about:
A well known baddy for dogs. Chocolate contains Theobromine and Caffeine. These are both stimulants and dogs are very sensitive to them. High concentrations can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, heart problems, fitting and even death in dogs. The higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the more dangerous the chocolate is for dogs. If your little terror breaks into the dairy milks (or similar!) you must speak to a vet who can advise you further.
Stuffing (onions and garlic):
These can cause serious problems for our canine chums. In dogs, even a small amount will cause some of the red blood cells (the cells that make the blood red and carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body) to pop. The more a dog eats, the worse the problem is. If your dog has eaten any of these vegetables, speak to your vet who will, almost certainly, want to see your dog to at least take a small blood test before advising you further.
These little sweet morsels are irresistible for many dogs, but are seriously dangerous. They cause different levels of reaction in different dogs, but in the worst cases can cause kidney failure and death. Certain dogs appear to react to certain grapes and there have been cases of dogs who ate as little as 2 grapes dying in an few days because their kidneys failed. So, if your pride and joy gets at the Christmas cake, ring your vet ASAP, there are treatments that may help.
A really tasty little round nut that is often included in nut mixes at Christmas time. Dogs who have eaten macadamia nuts can get sudden weakness of the back legs or an inability to stand within 12 hours. With the right care, they often survive, but rapid treatment is important.
We do not see a lot of dogs that have eaten mistletoe, probably because it is quite bitter and often put high up, but it is seriously toxic so worth a mention. Even 1-2 berries can be enough to kill and the leaves, branches etc. are also toxic. So, maybe best left for kissing under and not for eating.