Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Living

November 27, 2013

Help pets stay healthy this holiday season, too

JACKSONVILLE — While Fido may be a pro at making big “feed me, I'm starving” eyes, animal care professionals remind people that sharing their Thanksgiving mean is more harmful than not.

“Be brave and look the other way,” advised Chris Holcomb, office manager of the Cherokee Animal Clinic in Rusk. “Those things we eat may taste yummy, but they can also cause problems for our pets, so you want to watch their diets as closely as you do your own.”

ASPCA.org lists people-friendly foods that will wreak havok on your pet's health, including:

• Chocolate, coffee and caffeine, which methylxanthines. “When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures,” even death.

• Alcoholic beverages and food products also “cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

• Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark “contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.” Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart, and some ingestions can be fatal, the site states.

• Macadamia nuts, when consumed by dogs, “have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.”

• Grapes and raisins. While the toxic substance in these fruits are unknown, they can cause contribute to kidney failure, according to the site.

• Yeast dough can rise inside an animal's digestive system and cause gas to accumulate, resulting in pain, or even rupturing the animal's intestine. “Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats (but no more) than five to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.”

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