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Every year vets probably see a upswing to more patients in the clinics due to simple oversights by well meaning pet owners.

Some safety tips from the ASPCA are:

1. If you feed your pets turkey, make certain the turkey is well cooked. don't offer under cooked or raw turkey, NO bones please. They can puncture a intestine.

2. Sage is a yummy addition to stuffing but it can be dangerous to pets causing gastrointestinal upset and depression from the oils and resins.

3.NO RAW bread dough please. Raw dough can 'rise' in your pets stomach and cause bloating, stomach discomfort and abdominal pain. It may have to be relieved by costly surgery.

4. No cake and sweets, no raw eggs which carries salmonella.

5. Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.

Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anaemia, where the pet's red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.

At first, pets affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhoea. They will show no interest in food and will be dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in an affected animal's urine and it becomes breathless. The breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body are reduced in number.

The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness.

6. No chocolate please!! Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.

When affected by an overdose of chocolate, a dog can become excited and hyperactive. Due to the diuretic effect, it may pass large volumes of urine and it will be unusually thirsty. Vomiting and diarrhoea are also common. The effect of theobromine on the heart is the most dangerous effect. Theobromine will either increase the dog's heart rate or may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Death is quite possible, especially with exercise.

A reminder about pets and visitors: Please keep your pet in a safe and quiet area. Food , water and bedding..is essential. Cats with their bedding and cat pans, and dogs with bedding also. Cats will get stressed and need a place to 'hide out" from small grabbing and loud toddlers and dogs may become cranky and bite when they feel overcrowded.

If you are traveling make certain your pet is in a good safe kennel with plenty of water and bedding. A little food to munch on, but not enough to cause stomach upset and when they arrive they have a litter pan and bedding in a quiet area.

If you should need to call this is the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435

I hope these tips have helped and you all have a wonderful and safe Holiday.

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