Beware lethal leftovers

Be careful about what leftovers you feed your four-legged friends this festive season.
Be careful about what leftovers you feed your four-legged friends this festive season.

THIS festive season, keep your four-legged friends in mind and be careful about the kinds of leftovers you feed them.

In recent years veterinarians at BVSC animal hospital in Queensland have observed a sharp increase in toxicities in pets at Christmas time resulting from the consumption of human foods.

BSVC founder Dr Rod Straw said pet owners who treated animals to leftovers from a Christmas barbecue or dinner were putting their pets at serious risk.

"There are a number of common foods that can cause potentially fatal health complications for your pet, ranging from nausea and vomiting to potentially fatal organ complications," he said.

"If more pet owners were educated about the dangers, the majority of these incidents could easily be avoided."

Dr Straw also advised pet owners to be aware of the dangers posed by Christmas decorations.

"BVSC treats many cats and dogs each season who eat tinsel which causes serious gastrointestinal problems," he said.

Dr Straw has drawn up a list of common foods that are dangerous to pets:

  • Avocados contain a dangerous toxin which can damage the heart, lungs and tissue of many different animals.
  • Macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs. Symptoms will likely occur within 12 hours and can include vomiting, hypothermia and elevated heart rate.
  • Chocolate may be toxic or lethal to dogs and other domestic animals, even in small quantities.
  • Turkey skin, pork crackling, sausages and other fatty meats can lead to pancreatitis due to their high fat content.
  • Onions and garlic can cause gastric irritation and anaemia if they consume these vegetables in large quantities.
  • Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure.

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