Holiday 2022

Watch out for these surprising holiday pet hazards

Real holiday stories from the vethelpline®

The holidays are a time of joyous celebration with friends and family, but with the tasty banquets and twinkling lights come a number of hazards for pets.

Fortunately, our vethelpline® experts are here to answer the tough questions.

Tinsel troubles

Bo*, our Great Dane puppy, got into some boxes of holiday decorations in the garage. Since then, he has vomited once, and we discovered tinsel in his bowel movement. He is still eating and drinking normally. What should we do?

vethelpline® advice:

Ingestion of this material is not expected to cause risk for systemic toxicity, however there is risk for upset stomach and even a gastrointestinal obstruction. We recommend having Bo evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine if there is still tinsel left, and how to proceed.

Monitor Bo closely over the next 24-48 hours for signs of danger, including persistent vomiting, diarrhea, no bowel movement or straining to defecate, loss of appetite, excessive salivation or lethargy. If these occur, take Bo to the emergency veterinarian immediately.

Mistlet-oh no!

Bea*, our 3-year-old dachshund, ate some mistletoe that fell on the floor. We estimate she consumed around twenty leaves in total. So far, she’s acting normally. Is mistletoe poisonous?

vethelpline® advice:

Most of the time, the concern with mistletoe is it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Rarely, when ingested in large amounts, there can be risk for cardiac and neurological effects, depending on the type of mistletoe ingested. This is rare and we don't expect this with this ingestion.

To identify what type of mistletoe Bea ate, we recommend reaching out to the “Poisons Help; Emergency Identification for Mushrooms & Plants” group on Facebook. Your post must include photos of the plant and explanation your dog ingested an estimated 20 leaves.

It is important to note that the group does not include veterinarians as part of the team of identifiers. Please call or chat back once the mistletoe has been identified to discuss further treatment recommendations.

The season of lights

Scallop* chewed and ingested part of the green plastic on our Christmas lights, and the actual plastic light material is missing. We aren’t sure if he ingested the light or not. However, he has been very playful and active, and no batteries or cords have been ingested. What should we do?

vethelpline® advice:

Plastic ingestion poses risk for foreign body obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract. Fortunately, wires or cords would be the most concerning part for him to have ingested. And, as no batteries are missing, we aren’t concerned about corrosive injuries.

To be safe, offer Scallop a handful of his regular dry food if he is food-motivated and likes his regular diet enough to eat it immediately. Alternately, offer him a palm-sized amount of canned dog food or a slice of bread to cushion the plastic.

Monitor Scallop at home for persistent vomiting, not eating, straining to defecate or watery diarrhea. Keep an eye out for signs of abdominal pain, such as arching his back, hunching his stomach or hiding. We typically recommend supportive care at your veterinarian when there are more than two or three episodes of vomiting or diarrhea, more than one missed meal or excessive lethargy.

Foreign body obstructions in the GI tract will have the most severe symptoms, but typically do not appear until 24 hours after ingestion.

*Pets’ names have been changed

vethelpline® experts are not a substitute for your veterinarian. They cannot prescribe or authorize refills of medications, treat, or diagnose your pet’s condition.

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They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

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Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will

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