Christmas - The Veterinary Centre, Glasgow

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Hot Topics - The Hazards of Christmas

It is important that we take the time to consider our pets' safety and welfare during the festive season. There are potential hazards all around us, which can seriously harm our pets. With this in mind, we have produced a list of useful tips.

No matter how sorry you feel for your pets, it is important not to feed them leftovers. Apart from the obvious reason of becoming overweight, there may be hazards involved in some incidences. These may include choking on bones, bowel impaction (blockage) from bones or tummy upsets causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

A lot of people do not realise the dangers of chocolate to our pets. Chocolate contains
theothrombire, which is toxic to animals and can have very serious consequences, such as:
Nervous excitement

Christmas decorations may be more interesting to some animals than others. It is important to supervise pets around all decorations, especially the more curious ones. It is not uncommon for baubles etc to be swallowed and require surgical removal at this time of year. There is also the worry that they may choke on the decorations. We cannot emphasise enough the need to observe our pets' behaviour.

Do not allow cats to climb the Christmas tree, they may fall and land on sharp decorations or end up tangled in the lights.

Be extremely careful with electric lighting; keep an eye out for curious animals, as a simple chew of a cable can easily prove fatal.
A lot of cats love to play with wrapping paper; this is thought to be due to the crinkly noise it makes. We also have to be careful with wrappings and especially ties, as some are metallic, with sharp edges which if ingested will cause severe trauma to the digestive system.

Please ensure that no one gives your pets alcohol, no matter how little. Animals are extreme lightweights, as they have not been blessed with livers as well developed as ours. One drop may be poisonous enough to show symptoms.

With all this in mind, remember to request all guests not to feed your pets.

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