Vet warning: Alcohol can be deadly for your pet

WHILE many of us will be absorbed in merriment over the holiday season, the Australian Veterinary Association says we should leave cats and dogs out of the party when alcohol is served.

AVA spokesperson, Dr David Neck, said that every pet owner must understand that even small amounts of alcohol can harm a pet.

"They can also get exposure by drinking or licking up cooking products that contain alcohol, mouthwashes, perfume, cleaning products or by getting into cough syrups containing alcohol or other medications.

"Dogs and cats can even get alcohol toxicity by eating fermented foods if they eat enough of them.

"Keep cats and dogs in a safe place when entertaining. Glasses left lying around will offer an easy opportunity for a curious pet to get their nose into the glass and have a taste," Dr Neck said.

Signs of alcohol poisoning can be similar to other diseases. Watch for changes in behaviour such as problems walking or standing up, lack of coordination, drowsiness, a slow breathing rate, excessive urination, vomiting or unresponsiveness.

Dogs and cats exposed to alcohol can also have dangerous drops in their blood sugar level which can cause seizures.

"If your dog or cat has any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately," he said.

"And of course it goes without saying that you should never give your pets illicit drugs either."

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