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Saint Francis Veterinary Center Issues Pet Health Warnings for the Holiday Season

Certain holiday traditions and decorations can actually pose a risk to the health of your pets

Woolwich Township, NJ (November 25, 2013) – Saint Francis Veterinary Center reminds pet owners to exercise caution around the holidays as many traditional practices and decorations can be hazardous or potentially fatal to animals.

“Every year there is an influx of emergency visits around the holiday season,” said Karyn Collier, DVM, Chief Medical Officer of Saint Francis Veterinary Center. “As the holidays approach it’s important to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits consistent and keep any eye out for potentially hazardous items while decorating and hosting family and friends.”

Some of the more common pet hazards associated with the holidays are listed below.

Holiday Feasts: Rich, fatty dishes can cause stomach irritation.  Foods with raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, uncooked dough and chocolates can cause problems ranging from bloating and gas to seizures and death.  Bones can damage the digestive tract and puncture internal organs. It’s best to simply give your pet their normal food or closely monitor what your animal is ingesting.

Christmas Trees: Make sure your tree is securely fastened to prevent it from falling on playful or curious animals. Place glass or plastic ornaments, lights, candy canes and popcorn garland high on the tree and out of reach from your pets.  Your pet should never drink the tree’s water to prevent ingestion of toxic substances such as fertilizer and aspirin.

Toxic Holiday Plants: Mistletoe, pointsettias and holly can cause gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems in your pets.  Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.

Tinsel: Tinsel can obstruct the digestive tracts in cats and dogs and is a common reason for emergency surgeries during the holiday season.

To learn more, search “household hazards” at the Saint Francis Pet Health library: 

http://www.saintfrancis.org/education/pet-health-library/.

If your pet experiences a medical emergency during this holiday season, immediately call the 24-hour emergency and critical care team at Saint Francis Veterinary Center at 856.467.0050.

About Saint Francis Veterinary Center

Saint Francis Veterinary Center is a leading specialty referral and 24-hour emergency hospital for animals located in Southern New Jersey.  For more information please visit http://www.saintfrancis.org

Media Contact: Nick Laplaca at (908) 895-0785 or at nlaplaca@randjpr.com

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