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Old 11-22-2006, 05:38 PM
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Default Thanksgiving Safety

I copied this from a newsletter:

Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner with Our Dogs

Happy Thanksgiving!
Isn't it fun to have our dogs enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday with us? But it is so hard to resist the temptation to share our dinner with them.

Sudden change in diet
Although turkey meat is safe for our dogs to eat, please keep in mind that a sudden change in diet, like a big bowl full of turkey could cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Here's some information which I hope you'll find helpful.

Dear Dr. Wise: Last Thanksgiving we almost lost our wonderful Pepi dog. We were not paying attention when he got into the garbage can and ate some turkey bones. One became lodged in his intestine and caused a bowl obstruction that almost killed him. Please warn your readers to keep the turkey carcass away from their pets.

Turkey bones are just one of the holiday hazards for our pets. We get distracted with preparations and celebration for the holidays and may not be as watchful as we should. Or we make them sick by sharing too many holiday treats with them. Whatever the reason, veterinarians see too many pets during the holidays with diarrhea, poisoning and obstructed or perforated bowel problems like Pepi's.

Turkey is one of the "dangers". Dogs and cats are not used to fatty or rich foods. Feeding them turkey skin, fat, dressing or gravy can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreas problems. Cookies and candies can produce the same symptoms. Chocolate, especially the type used in baking, can be very toxic. Liquor, beer and wine also are dangerous.

As you wisely point out, turkey bones should be securely wrapped before putting them in the trash. These bones are lethal because they are small and shatter easily. They can cut or lodge in the digestive tract.

Soon we will be decorating our homes for Christmas. Keep in mind that Christmas trees and pets can add up to mischief. Animals may be fascinated by the lights and bright ornaments and bat them off the tree. Broken pieces can cut paws and mouths and lead to serious trouble if swallowed. Curious and playful pets also can knock over a tree and cause a short circuit in the lights. So it is wise to turn off tree lights and keep animals at a safe distance when no one is around.

Remember that mistletoe and poinsettias are poisonous and should be kept out of pets' reach.

The above question and answer is reprinted with permission from Indiana Veterinary Medical Association. The information provided answers problems Indiana veterinarians currently are seeing in their practices, as well as new developments in animal care. The information provided is prepared as a public service by the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association.
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