Avoiding holiday hazards and the vet bills this Christmas

Avoiding holiday hazards and the vet bills this Christmas

Christmas can be an expensive time of year and unexpected vet bills aren’t on anyone’s wish list!

According to the Kennel Club, dogs are 75% more likely to be treated for poisoning either from food or ingesting a foreign body in December compared to any other month in the year. To guard against hazards this holiday season, Napo vet Dr Louisa Lane has put together a rundown of accidents to avoid, including common Christmas claims and how much they might cost uninsured pet owners.

 Décor dilemmas

Whether your tree goes up when the clocks go back or you don’t deck the halls until December, Christmas decorations can be a real holiday hazard for household pets.

Breakable baubles and trinkets can result is cut paws and harmlessly toying around with tinsel could cost you up to £1800 in vet bills.

Dr Louisa details treating a cat who swallowed a length of tinsel and needed surgery to remove the decoration which was stuck in the bends of the cat’s intestines, causing tears and internal damage.

“One lifesaving operation and two nights at the vet later, the cat returned home with a £1800 bill and advice to make sure all decorations were hung out of reach of playful paws.”

Christmas dinner disasters

Christmas is the time to eat, drink and be merry but since pet puke isn’t conducive to Christmas cheer, it’s best to keep an eye on what your pet is being given or perhaps helping itself to from the dinner table.

We’re all for limiting food waste but think twice before giving your pet leftovers, especially those which might contain bones. Dr Louisa explains how splintered bones can puncture your pet’s gut, allowing gut contents to leak into the abdomen, causing infection and inflammation known as peritonitis.

“Peritonitis is deadly, with approximately 50% mortality and the surgery, fluids and medication required to treat the results of a swallowed bone can cost in excess of £4000.”

So keep paws off the table and leftovers left out of sight to keep your pet on the nice list and off the surgery list this Christmas.

Mince pie mess ups

And even the modest mince pie, the most unassuming of seasonal snacks, can pose a risk in the wrong paws.

Mince pies are chock-full of raisins, sultanas and currants which can cause kidney failure and gastrointestinal disease in dogs.

The medication to treat kidney failure can cost in excess of £1000 and as the toxic dose of these fruits is unknown, a pack of mince pies can do a dog some serious damage. So keep your eyes on the pies at all times!

And if you want to get pets involved with festive food, you can make something especially for them using specially designed pet recipes, so no one is left out in the cold this Christmas.

Boozy blunders

Many people enjoy a tipple or two at Christmas and sometimes it can leave us feeling sick as a dog the next day. But if your pet partakes of alcohol, you may have more than a hefty hangover to deal with.

A glass of wine left unguarded, or a pilfered pint could leave your pet drowsy and uncoordinated, with a racing heart rate and sinking body temperature. Not to mention the grapes which go into wine are also toxic to dogs!

Although alcohol poisoning in pets is quite rare, a drunken dog is no joke so keep the plonk away from your pets and if you suspect your pet may have supped something it shouldn’t consult your vet right away.

Pressie problems

Not wanting to leave precious pets out of the gift giving, many families treat their pets to a new toy on Christmas Day.

It is very common for dogs to become possessive and guard new toys, even the sweetest dogs can behave very differently if challenged for their new possession.

In multi-pet households this can result in scraps and fights, nips and bites which could cost up to £700 to clean and stitch up.

If you are going to give your dogs toys at Christmas, make sure they are given their own space to play with them without being challenged, that way no one needs to go on the naughty list and there can be Christmas cheer a-plenty.

This is a guest post by Napo.

Alessandra Pacelli

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