Tricounty News

Where's the cat?

Has anyone seen "Christmas Vacation?" Then you know where I'm going with this when I say my own two cats are trying to chew on the tree lights as I alternate between writing this and squirting them away with a water bottle. Since last week's article was about what can go wrong with our dogs' butts, this week will be about our pets' other end ... what trouble they can get into with their mouths. There are many things around that can be harmful or toxic to our pets, especially at the holidays, including risk of oral electrical burns (and yes, extreme electrocution as so timelessly depicted in the holiday classic). Without getting into the specifics, poinsettias, chocolate (the darker the worse), and in a few months, Easter lilies are all potentially fatal if ingested by our pets! Why would they take it upon themselves to eat these things? In many instances it is because they are curious about these new introductions into their environment (in the cases of the plants and lights), and in some cases it is simply because they taste good. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, automotive antifreeze, and rat bait appeal to the palate of some animals and all are potentially toxic. As we include our pets in the enjoyment of holiday celebrations, we also can inadvertently "kill them with kindness." Tossing them trimmings of fat or bones, especially from ham or chicken, can cause severe problems in our pets such as pancreatitis from fat, intestinal obstruction or intestinal perforation from sharp bone fragments. If your pets have gotten into the above items or are showing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, hyperactivity, red urine, inappetance, or anything else besides their normal demeanor, contact us with any questions. Merry Christmas from Watkins Vet Clinic to you and your animals! Dr. Carl is a mixed-animal veterinarian at Watkins Veterinary Clinic. Please e-mail your questions for this column to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.