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Preventing Winter Toxicities

Preventing Winter ToxicitiesWith another holiday season come and gone, you should still be on the lookout for pet problems associated with any lingering decorations. Holiday plants can last long past December and serve as a potential problem for your critters. Mistletoe and Poinsettias can both cause mouth or stomach irritation if ingested. Christmas cactus and English Holly can cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as significant damage to the stomach or intestinal lining. If you have to have these plants around, it would be best to keep them out of your pet's reach or even in a closed off room. The winter months are also a popular time to make use of home-scenting products such as candles or scented oils. Hot wax from a burning candle could burn your pet if knocked over. Ingestion of scented oils can cause severe chemical burns of the mouth, esophagus and potentially lungs if your pet vomits and accidentally inhales some of the chemical. As always, make sure any leftovers of chocolate and cocoa, sugarless gum and candy containing xylitol, or leftover fatty meat scraps are kept out of your pet's reach as all of these can cause serious problems. If there is any concern that your pet has ingested something toxic, please call us. If we are not available, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline (1-800-213-6680) for assistance.