Winter advice for owners of cats and dogs
- Danger of Chocolate There is typically a lot of
chocolate around at this time of year and this increases
the risk of theobromine poisoning in cats and dogs.
The typical symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
and increased urination; this can then progress to
heart attacks, epileptic seizures and death. The risk
is greater with dark chocolate as this contains more
of the theobromine chemical; if you suspect that your
dog has ingested a large quantity of chocolate then
contact the surgery so immediate treatment can be given.
- Bones, each year we commonly see dogs that have developed
problems due to eating bones from a turkey carcase.
A lot of the bones can easily splinter causing penetrating
injuries in the intestines, this will often lead
to acute abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Foreign bodies, cats and particularly kittens love
playing with string, paper and tinsel; whilst the first
two are generally safe problems can often occur if
tinsel is eaten leading to a blockage in the stomach
- Ticks are very rarely encountered in wintertime due
to the reduction in temperature and treatment is rarely
required. If ticks are found then carefully remove
so as to remove them completely and also avoid squeezing
them. Removal is best performed by using a tick hook.
- Fleas, this always used to be primarily a spring
and summer problem, but due to central heating in our
homes the flea has become an all year round visitor.
Flea control is often dependant on using a number of
products to both control fleas our pets and in the
environment, some of the newer products e.g. Frontline
Combo are able to perform this dual role.
- Worms, again these are an all year problem and we
advice worming all dogs and cats every 3 months, young
animals and cats who hunt frequently will need treating
- New pets Christmas is
not a good time to bring new pets into the home due
to all the stress and upheaval that most of us endure
during the festive season. It is best to delay the
new arrival until the new year when it can receive
all the care, attention and love that it deserves.