Poisonous presents.

A quick update from me, I now have three invites to interview and I am waiting for one more response. The formal interview at Bristol was very insightful… as most of the candidates wore denim jeans?! Having just passed my theory test, next up is a trip to Liverpool for an MMI styled interview, which I have been told are very interesting and engaging so I am looking forward to that, and the Christmas holidays of course.
Speaking of Christmas, nobody wants to end up at the vets on Christmas Eve with a poorly pet due to eating something poisonous that their owners were oblivious to.
1. Chocolate
The most commonly known pet poison. The indulgent variety of chocolate at Christmas is baffling, Quality Street, Ferrero Rocher, Toblerone’s, it’s everywhere and at some point or another the beautifully wrapped Cadbury’s selection box is left under the tree just waiting for a wet nose to sniff it out. So make sure that if your pets are prone to breaking into food containers, that you tell your family and friends to worn you if a gift is food based so that it can be placed in the cupboard instead of under the tree.
Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine the amount of differs from high in dark chocolate to low in white chocolate.
2. Christmas Tree
Who would have thought your innocent evergreen could hurt anyone? Well here’s how:
Most species are not extremely toxic but some can cause intestinal upset if chewed on. Tinsel and decorations can cause intestinal blockages if swallowed. Even your Christmas lights are deadly if your pet chews through the electrical cable. As romantic as mistletoe, alongside holly it is also very toxic to dogs.
Watch out for that potpourri as well!
N.B I have also posted lately about acorns and their toxicity to remember when out on winter walks.
3. The Cheese Board
Not quite Russian roulette with the cheese board Lazy Suzanne, but your pet would be in a serious situation if they came across any of these:
Macadamia nuts, 12 hours after ingestion can cause dogs to experience weakness, depression, tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia.
Blue cheese contains a substance called roquefortine C, which is a substance produced by the fungus used to produce these cheeses.
In extreme cases this can lead to muscle tremors and seizures.
Don’t forget about grapes and raisins! They are known to be poisonous but are very case specific, some pets can eat two or three and be fine whereas some cases lead to extreme renal failure.
Which leads nicely on to:
4. Christmas cake, pudding, mince pies or fruit loaves. Left around not only would leave your pet feeling sluggish from all of the sugar but the dried fruit will leave them very sick indeed.
5. Left over turkey is a great treat for your pets but the bones can splinter when consumed, causing choking, internal intestinal damage and blockages if they become lodged. So do keep carcasses out of the way of paws.
If you are unlucky enough to be found in the vets on Christmas Eve, don’t panic! As soon as you notice something has gone missing or you catch your pet in the act of eating a poisonous substance, get yourself down to the vets as soon as possible.
Your pet will be given an injection of a solution that stimulates vomiting followed by some active charcoal that lines the stomach to prevent absorption of harmful toxins. It’s not just naughty children that get coal for Christmas, and on that subject, oranges and other citrus fruits can be harmful in differing quantities.  Once your pet is deemed “clear” they will give an anti-vomit injection to prevent damage to the stomach and oesophagus from stomach acid and straining from the vomiting.
I hope this has informed you of the risks associated with festive foods and decorations. Liverpool here I come!

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