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The holidays are a joyous time for friends and socializing. We decorate our households, cook elaborate meals, bring trees and special plants into our households. Yet we often pay little attention to how these new habits might affect the furred and feathered around us.
Some of the more common disorders seen during the holidays in smaller pets include pancreatitis, salmonella, plant toxins, chocolate toxicosis and of course gastric foreign bodies.
Though it's a fun holiday tradition for humans, mistletoe is toxic for pets. Learn more about how to keep pets safe this holiday season.
Pets become exposed to the toxic effects of mistletoe when the vine is bought in the home for as holiday decoration. It is an English custom that any two people who meet under a hanging piece of mistletoe are obliged to kiss each other. According to tradition, the mistletoe must not touch the ground between its cutting and its removal as the last of the Christmas greens after Christmas Eve.
You may have heard poinsettias are poisonous for pets. Although poinsettias are toxic, they are more of a gastro-intestinal irritant.
Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are also known as the Christmas flower or star. They are a popular plant used as decoration around the holidays from November through December. The plant is actually a shrub, and features brightly colored red, white or pink terminal leaves, while the lower leaves remain green in color.
We can't say for sure on a large scale, but anecdotally—yes! As people are becoming more conscious about what they're putting in our own bodies, it's only natural that we start to think about our pets as well. For years, many of our bestselling dog foods, such as Orijen, Acana, and Blue Buffalo, have been those that emphasize natural, organic ingredients and whole proteins. But how many times have we refilled our dogs' bowls with unfiltered tap water?
Have you noticed a flat half-inch long worm or longer crawling from your dog or cat's anal area or have you noticed what appears to be dried rice or cucumber seeds on the coat of your pet in the perineal area (body area surrounding the anal, and vaginal openings)? Then your pet may be suffering from an infection with tapeworms.
Is your cat or dog constantly scratching at its ears or shaking its head? Do the ears contain a dark brown to black crusty discharge that resembles coffee grounds, yet has a waxy consistency? Does your pet have a hot spot below one of its ears? Then your cat or dog could be suffering from an infestation secondary to an infectious mite called Otodectes cynotis, more commonly referred to as ear mites.
Do you have an older cat that is losing weight, yet has a ravenous appetite? Is your cat vomiting on a regular basis? Then your cat could be suffering from Feline hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroid disorders may also increase energy levels and cause irritability. It is the second most common endocrine disorder in cats.
Has your cat suddenly decided to use the dirty laundry as a litter box? Maybe your cat was belligerent and backed up to the wall, spraying right in front of you. Then again, you may have been on the receiving end of an unacceptable litter box gift on your pillow. Regardless of the circumstances, your cat may be trying to bring a medical or behavioral problem to your attention.