The British Veterinary Association is urging pet owners to watch out for potential hazards to their pets this Christmas.
Findings released this month reveal that tinsel, a nativity display and antifreeze were just some of the items that landed animals in veterinary practices over the 2014 festive period.
Ironically, the most common hazard to dogs comes from an act of good will from their owners.
Chocolate poisoning in dogs was the most common toxic ingestion case and was seen, last year, by 69 percent of vets interviewed by the BVA.
However a quarter of vets also treated cats for dangerous antifreeze poisoning and one in ten vets saw dogs that had eaten Christmas decorations.
Seasonal plants, such as poinsettia can also cause harm to pets if eaten.
BVA President Sean Wensley said: “Christmas is typically a fun and chaotic time, with lots of presents and treats suddenly arriving in our homes.
“Many pet owners are aware of the risks of chocolate poisoning to their pets but it’s easy to accidentally leave something tempting lying around.
“Our results are a cautionary tale about the range of potential hazards around your home at this time of year and owners should be very aware that tasty treats, interesting decorations and new plants can be hard for curious animals to resist.
“If you suspect your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t then don’t delay consulting your local vet.”
One vet reported that an unfortunate dog ingested both chocolate and several foreign bodies:
They said: “One dog ate £200 in £20 notes as well as most of the animals and baby Jesus out of the nativity stable.
“He then ate a large chocolate Santa. The dog was presented to us shortly after eating the chocolate and vomited most of the money, all nativity players and the chocolate up!” Fortunately the dog in this case was fine after veterinary treatment, but toxic ingestion can be serious and veterinary care should be sought immediately.”
Make sure you are prepared for any emergencies over Christmas by checking your vet’s emergency cover provision and holiday opening hours or, if you are away from home, use the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Find a Vet facility at www.findavet.org.uk.
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