By Dr. Gary A. Borgman. Kissimmee Animal Hospital
Wow, the hurricane season is over! (as I write this, Mathew was only five days ago and we mostly “dodged the proverbial bullet” for which we are so grateful this year). So now we approach some fall and winter holiday seasons.
The holidays are a time for treats and sweets, many of which are chocolate. Most of us know that chocolates are taboo for dogs and cats (they contain stimulant properties much like caffeine). I was once called by a good friend with a dachshund who had just consumed a large Toblerone bar! A home administered hydrogen peroxide emetic soon got it out of the stomach. Happy outcome. Another less happy case was a canine patient who had ingested a pound of raisins and was in terminal kidney failure. Raisins are really just dried grapes and these can be very toxic for reasons that are unclear. So the moral of the story is, if the holiday candy collection or any fruit basket includes grapes, do not share with pets! Additionally many candies contain xylitol which is also toxic to pets.
Moving forward, the Thanksgiving feasts provide many opportunities for dogs to overindulge with their humans. Turkey bones and skin can cause gastrointestinal upsets and even intestinal blockage. As a general rule, most pets can tolerate some lean meat but only in limited quantities. We often advise lean white chicken and steamed white rice for gastro-enteritis so this could be a fine doggy treat while we indulge in the rich and tasty tastes of the season.
As we begin wrapping gifts, we must keep the ribbons and paper out of the reach of cats. Cats love to play with these materials however, if they swallow a ribbon or string, these materials can easily cause a very serious intestinal blockage which requires emergency abdominal surgery.
The title of the article suggests that December is puppy and kitten season. Actually, this season begins January 1 and runs 365 days but we do see a lot of new adorable furry family members before, during and after the December holidays. The ideal age to bring in a puppy or kitten is at eight weeks of age. They are ready to leave their furry family and the mother is ready to give them up. I have written articles before for this publication about the care and nutrition for the very young and I have also covered the recommended vaccination schedules. These articles can be easily accessed at www.OsceolaWoman.com. Under ARTICLES search for PawPrints. There are 23 articles available on a variety of pet health subjects. Our web site www.KissimmeeAnimalHospital.com is also available with many links for pet health information. In closing, I want to emphasize that the “Pet Lemon Law” requires an official certificate of examination for every dog or cat sold in Florida. This is your best assurance of a healthy, parasite free, and properly immunized young animal.
The veterinarians and staff of Kissimmee Animal Hospital (Tel 407-846-3912) and Poinciana Pet Clinic (Tel 407-518-0880) are available to answer your questions and concerns about the health of your pets. We are here to help and to serve.