Blue Cross vets warn of festive dangers for pets

National pet charity Blue Cross is alerting pet owners of the many hidden dangers of the festive season.

The charity is warning of toxic foods to dangerous seasonal plants so that pet-loving families can keep their pets safe during Christmas.

Vets at Blue Cross animal Hospital in Victoria, London have already saved pets from potentially fatal Christmas related injuries and are calling out to owners to be aware of the dangers this festive period can bring.

Charlie, a three-year-old Irish terrier, came into the charity’s Victoria hospital after his owner realised, he’d eaten an entire box of mince pies. Luckily, Charlie’s owner was aware of the potential deadly danger to his dog and swiftly brought him in to see the vet.

Vets at Blue Cross advise that mince pies, as they can be dangerous for dogs because raisins and grapes can cause severe, life-threatening kidney failure if eaten – even in very small qualities.

While the exact cause of grape and raisin poisoning is unknown and not every dog will have the same reaction, vets warn it is not worth taking the risk.

Charlie was put on an IV drip and was fed a slurry of activated charcoal to stop any toxins from the raisins being absorbed into the blood stream. Charlie was very lucky to go home to enjoy Christmas with his family.

Blue Cross Clinical Services and Compliance Manager, Caroline Reay, said: “Christmas is a lovely time of year for humans and it’s great when our pets can soak up the festive love too, but there are some things to watch out for. The obvious ones are food and drinks. Charlie was very lucky to walk away without too much harm, but others may slip our minds.”

Blue Cross warn that there are also dangers in unexpected forms, including innocent Christmas decorations.

Bhodi is a three-year-old cat who came to the hospital to have surgery to remove tinsel from his gut. Vets were initially unsure of what was causing the young cat to have trouble going to the toilet and a lack of appetite and had to x-ray and use an ultrasound to find the source of Bhodi’s discomfort.

Caroline added: “Many people do not realise that a lot of human medication is actually dangerous if given to a pet. Often there is more ibuprofen and paracetamol around at the festive time of year, and they can be very toxic to pets. If relatives are visiting who are not aware of Christmas dangers to pets make sure they know to not leave their own medications unattended or to allow pets to contact any areas where they have applied medicated cream.

“And if you pet does ingest something it shouldn’t have, please don’t be tempted to medicate your pet yourself. All vets have to provide an emergency out of hours service when they are closed so call your unusual practice if you pet is unwell, or appears to be, over the Christmas period.”