Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Following up on our tips about holiday treats/hazards for animals we posted on Halloween, we thought it might be a good idea to post a list of potential items that could harm your pet at Thanksgiving.

Commonly ingested items

Too much fat. Turkey carcass, ham, butter, grease, drippings, cakes, pies—all of these items can cause GI upset, vomiting, diarrhea. The high fat items can also lead to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)—which can be mild to life threatening. Severe cases can lead to death. It’s a very painful condition which often requires hospitalization (IV fluids, IV pain meds, IV nutrition).

Sharp or foreign objects. Animal carcass, tooth picks, turkey pins and plastic trusses, twist ties— all of these items can cause problems if your dog or cat decides to counter-surf or get into the garbage. These types of objects can cause obstruction, intestinal perforation, sepsis, peritonitis requiring hospitalization, surgery, intensive care, even possibly death.

Onions and garlic. Cooked or raw onions, garlic, and shallots can cause severe anemia requiring transfusion. Even small amounts can be toxic to large animals.

Grapes and Raisins can cause kidney failure, may require hospitalization, and IV fluids.

Chocolate. As we wrote in October for our post about Halloween dangers for pets, chocolate can cause big problems for dogs.

Moldy food. As those leftovers lose their appeal after a few days, don’t be tempted to give old, moldy, or rotting food to your pets. Mold can cause tremors, seizures, and possibly death. It causes pets to become feverish and must be treated to keep body temperature from rising too high which will cause organ failure. Dogs often will raid trash cans at this time of the year and ingest food that was supposed to be trash.

NSAIDS, Anti-diarrheals(loperamide), stomach coating agents (Pepto). The golden rule is not to give animals people medicine. Animal doses are much different than human doses. Animals also have breed specific sensitivities to medications leading to lower toxic doses. While a little Pepto or Tums might help us humans after the big feast, it’s not a good thing for pets.

If your pet gets into anything like this over the holiday, feel free to call the Animal Hospital at 734-662-4474, the sooner, the better. We are staffed 24-hours a day and available to discuss any concerns or answer any questions for you as well as provide immediate treatment.

Happy Thanksgiving!

—Jennifer Dec, DVM

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Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is a locally-owned animal hospital operating for over 90 years in Ann Arbor, MI.