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Pet Health Education: Pet toxins in the holiday kitchen

November 18, 2009

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thanksgiving turkeyOver the next month, not only will we be enjoying cooler weather, but we will also be celebrating one favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. Before everyone becomes busy with seasonal preparations, we’d like to offer a few reminders about some unexpected dangers our pets may face in the most unlikely of places; “The Holiday Kitchen.”

As we are all aware there are obvious toxins located in the home such as pesticides, cleaning products and rodent poisons, however, there are many items for humconsumption that can be toxic-even deadly-to dogs and cats.

Not only does Thanksgiving food pose the threat of Pancreatitis, which results in severe vomiting, diarrhea, and intense abdominal pain, but many human safe foods can be toxic to pets. Not many people realize foods such as onions, garlic, trail mix and yeast dough can pose life-threatening problems when consumed by pets.

Onions and garlic, even when powdered, can cause severe gastrointestinal problems even anemia. Trail mixes, because they usually contain raisins can cause kidney failure leading to death. When mixing those Thanksgiving yeast rolls, watch out to make sure Fido doesn’t sneak a pinch. The unbaked yeast in the raw dough can expand and release gases in your dog’s stomach or intestines, resulting in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even life-threatening bloat and twisted stomach. Some yeast dough also ferments into alcohol, which can cause alcohol toxicity.

Sweeteners can also pose a toxic threat for pets. Many sugarless gums and candy contain xylitol, a sweetener that is acutely toxic to dogs. Ingestion can cause vomiting, weakness, a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, loss of muscle control, seizures and liver failure.

So, when you are preparing your Thanksgiving meal, keep Fido away from the kitchen! Remember it is always easier to prevent a disaster than to react to one. Keep danger out of your pet’s reach.

For more information on poisons/toxins dangerous to pets visit and click on emergencies.