The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

Common Holiday Emergencies for Pets

It seems like pet emergencies always happen at the worst times! During the holiday season when there are family gatherings, visitors and decorations are just a couple of the many reasons for a pet emergency to develop. Below is a list of common holiday emergencies seen in the pet ER and tips to prevent them from happening to you and your pet!

1. Gastrointestinal Emergencies (Food bloat, bone ingestion, pancreatitis)
It is important that with visitors and holiday meals, you are aware of what your pet is eating!

  • Some pets can be very sensitive to food changes and develop vomiting and diarrhea. Pancreatitis is a condition that can happen if your pet eats a really rich, fatty meal so avoid giving gravy or leftover grease to your pet.
  • Overfeeding can lead to food bloat; this can be painful and in some cases even life-threatening.
  • Bones can cause severe irritation and even lead to an obstruction.

2. Holiday Lighting
To a puppy or kitten, an electrical cord can look like a fun thing to chew on. This can lead to burns and electrocution! Make sure that cords are out of reach and secure!

3.  Ornaments

Your pet may think the shiny ornaments are

toys. Broken ornaments or pieces can be very dangerous if eaten and they can also lead to cuts and wounds. Sticking to plastic/non-breakable ornaments are best for both children and pets!

4. Ribbon and Tinsel
Who doesn’t love to decorate with tinsel and put long pretty ribbons on gifts? But remember, your cat or dog could think of these as toys. Eating these decorative items can easily lead to intestinal problems, including obstruction, which sometimes requires surgery.

5. Alcohol
Be sure not to leave beverages out where pets can drink them. Alcohol ingestion can cause pets to develop vomiting and diarrhea. Beverages are not the only source of alcohol – remember to beware of rum cakes and raw bread dough. Raw bread dough can also lead to severe bloating.

6. Candles and Potpourri
Pets can be attracted to candles and potpourri too! Make sure that you keep candles and liquid potpourri away from where pets could touch or knock them over; these items could lead to burns and severe skin irritation. Solid potpourri can also be toxic and cause intestinal blockage if eaten.

 We at AERC hope you have a safe and happy holiday season! It’s always a good idea to have the numbers of your family veterinarian, emergency animal hospital, and ASPCA handy in case of a pet emergency over the holidays! Keep in mind that both our Oakdale and St. Paul clinics are open 24/7, every day of the year so if you have a Christmas Day pet emergency, our team is ready to help!

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