Hidden Holiday Hazards
If you’ve gotten into the habit of following this blog, you probably know I’m forever warning pet parents of the dangers posed by holiday treats. Chocolate is toxic. Fatty foods cause pancreatitis. I know - you get it. At least I hope you do by now! But what about some of those dangerous delicacies that aren’t quite as obvious?
One of the most common causes of pet poisoning comes from ingesting foods in the allium family. If you’re fairly certain there’s no allium in your kitchen, think again. The allium family consists of onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives, scallions, and hundreds of wild species. While these foods provide countless health benefits for humans, they can easily kill our cats and dogs. Allium ingestion can lead to Heinz body anemia, a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed. Clinical signs include lethargy, pale gums, weakness, loss of appetite, labored breathing, discolored urine, or collapse. Cats are more likely to suffer from Heinz body anemia. Since the culprits are present in so many of our foods, it is easy to forget what can safely be given to our pets. The most severe case seen at Sabal Chase was that of a Jack Russell Terrier who had helped herself to a spice packet. Santa had placed a chef’s gift basket under the tree, and while the misdeed had been noticed, the ingredients of the packet were not obvious. It was not until the pet became gravely ill that her family put all of the pieces together. While little Macy survived, she required thousands of dollars worth of emergency blood transfusions. So while it’s the season for sharing, it’s best to refrain from sharing the holiday feast with our four-legged family members.
Macy spent Christmas at the emergency clinic after eating a spice packet.