Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


November 27, 2013

Help pets stay healthy this holiday season, too



• Raw/undercooked meat, eggs and bones – all of which contain the bacterias Salmonella and E. coli, both harmful to pets. Additionally, “raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems,” while for domestic pets, raw bones may cause choking or “grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture” the animal's digestive tract.

• Xylitol – a sweetener found in products like gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste – can “cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. … Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.”

• Onions, garlic and chives are probably the most commonly used produce to enhance food, but in an animal, gastrointestinal irritation may result, as can red blood cell damage. “Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed,” the site states.

• Milk – “Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.”

• Salt – Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets, and a pet owner can tell if an animal has eaten too many salty foods when he observes vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death, according to the site.

Holcomb also advised to watch Fido's intake of high-fat foods, like ham or certain cuts of turkey.

“Probably the number one danger is high-fat foods, which can cause pancreatis, something we see around the holidays,” she said. “So, no gravy or desserts or butter – seasonings like onion powder in food can cause a sudden onset of anemia in dogs and cats.”

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