Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday and a great time to join together with friends and family - be they two legged or four (or even three, lest we forget about our tripawd animal companions). As you’re preparing your Thanksgiving plans though, don’t forget to consider the common pet hazards associated with this day of friends, family, feasting, fun, and football. If you don’t, you may be enjoying your Thanksgiving in the local animal emergency room uttering another word beginning with ‘f’. Oh, that’s right… ‘phooie’ begins with a ‘p’, my bad. Regardless, I’m sure you’d prefer to spend the holiday at home with friends and family rather than in the waiting room of the local animal ER. And wait you will, as this is a very busy time of the year in pet emergency hospitals. So, even if you’re trying to avoid spending time with your family, there are significantly better (and cheaper) ways of doing so!
To have a pet-safe Thanksgiving this year, and every year, keep in mind the following information and advice…
Many of the foods we eat safely throughout the year can cause digestive upset, obstruction, or toxicity to our pets. At Thanksgiving, several of them are all in one place at the same time - a pet emergency ‘perfect storm’ of sorts. From the ‘culinary centerpiece’ to many of the common side dishes, danger lurks on the Thanksgiving table.
Hi Dr. Nicholas, here is a brief account of Stella Mae’s accident:
About one week ago our wonderful princess, Stella Mae, had a scary
encounter with an extension cord and the phenomenon of electricity. As
a 10 month old black lab, you can imagine that little Stella is very
nosy, very curious, and very, very unexperienced in the ways in the
world. These attributes culminated into a horrible event last Sunday,
when Stella got her mouth around the union of an extension cord and a
computer cord. She was shocked so violently that she peed herself. I
had literally had to pull cords apart while they were in her mouth,
after which Stella cried and screamed and hid out under the bed for
the rest of the day. The next day, I had a chance to inspect Stella’s
mouth. It turned out that she got a really nasty burn on the inside of
her cheek. At the center of this burn was some weird piece of plastic
that had been cauterized to her skin by the heat of the shock —
really scary stuff. After taking her to Dr. Nicholas’s office for a
check-up, we found out that electrical shocks can also cause pulmonary
edema and arrhythmia. Even scarier stuff. So. Be careful around
electrical cords! And tell your dogs to be even more careful! Never in
our wildest dreams did we imagine that little Stella would, (a), bite
into a cord, (b), shock and burn herself on a cord, or, (c), put her
heart, her lungs, and her overall health in serious danger right in
our living room next to where we sat. So be careful! Keep electrical
cords out of your doggie’s way!
Did you know that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month? Yup, one month out of every year… diabetes gets the spotlight. Given the importance of this disease and the debilitation it can cause, you’d think it would at least deserve a month with 31 days. But I guess it could be worse, it could be in February. Besides, November is probably a very appropriate month - given that it comes right after Halloween, includes the holiday most often associated with overeating, and precedes the month with the over-indulgent holidays of Christmas and New Years too. So… November it is - this year and every one to follow.
Regardless of which month diabetes gets the spotlight in though, its just important that it gets it. Why? Because it is one of the most debilitating and one of the most common chronic disorders affecting people… and pets. That’s right, cats and dogs can develop diabetes. And, as this blog post will highlight (at least as regards cats), they can do so with alarming frequency, and with potentially devastating consequences.
So, please read on to help protect the health and safety of your cats, as well as the ‘health’ of your bank account. It’s November… so prepare to become aware of feline diabetes - what it is, when you should suspect it, and what the potential emergency complications of it are. Also included, and it wouldn’t be a Preventive Vet blog post without them, are tips on how you can prevent it and how best you can manage it to avoid the associated emergency complications. Remember to come back to and share this post in other months of the year too, diabetes doesn’t respect the ‘boundaries’ of the calendar… it can strike in any month!