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Holiday Pet Poisons

Every holiday season, thousands of animals end up at the veterinarian’s office showing signs of poisoning. Typically, the toxin is something that was present within the home, overlooked during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. With the counter-surfing tendencies of the Siberian Husky and general curious nature, every Husky owner should memorize this list, and have numbers for the pet poison control hotline or veterinarian handy.

Poinsettia

If your Husky decides to take a bite of your Poinsettia centerpiece, brace yourself for possible mouth irritation or vomiting. In recent years, the toxicity of Poinsettia plants has been exaggerated. While unlikely to cause a severe reaction, a mild one is more likely.

Mistletoe

More toxic than the Poinsettia, Mistletoe can cause significant problems, such as severe vomiting and diarrhea, difficulties breathing, and even death.

Holly

Another plant to avoid, Holly may cause your dog to suffer from intense vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Pine Needles

Needles from the Christmas tree may be tempting treats for your Husky. The needles can become lodged in your dog’s mouth, causing irritation. If your dog ingests a significant amount, expect vomiting, diarrhea, and trembling.

Nutmeg

Although stealing a cookie with nutmeg seasoning likely will not cause any harm, stealing an entire bottle of nutmeg could be potentially fatal. Symptoms of nutmeg poisoning include tremors and seizures.

Xylitol

Found in sugar-free foods and listed as a “natural sweetener” or “sugar alcohol” on food labels, xylitol is one of the most dangerous poisons your dog can ingest. Immediately seek veterinary attention if xylitol ingestion is suspected, as hypoglycemia, liver malfunction, and death can quickly occur.

Antifreeze

Not necessarily “holiday,” antifreeze is prevalent during the winter months, and the sweet smell can entice your dog to take a taste. Immediately clean up any antifreeze spills in your garage or driveway, and avoid puddles of unknown liquid in the streets. Antifreeze will cause your dog to appear drunk or wobbly, and you may observe seizures, vomiting, excessive urination, or fainting.

Fat Trimmings

While trimming the Christmas turkey or duck, it may be tempting to treat your dog to a fat trimming, but avoid doing so. A dog’s digestive system cannot easily process fatty foods, which causes the pancreas to work harder than normal, which can lead to pancreatitis.

Bones

Although a bone seems like a natural treat for your dog, never give him or her a cooked bone. These can easily splinter, causing obstructions and even perforations in the digestive tract.

Nuts

Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts can all cause an upset stomach or bowel obstruction for your dog. Macadamia nuts are extremely toxic, and can lead to seizures, vomiting, and loss of coordination.

Keep an eye on your Husky this holiday season and if necessary, keep him or her crated during times when full attention cannot be paid to his or her whereabouts. The chaotic nature of the holidays can easily lead to tragic accidents. Understand the signs and symptoms of poisoning, and know who to call when time is of the essence.


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