Attention Baton Rouge and New Orleans Friends – Save the Date!February 12, 2022
Dear St. Valentine, What are the health benefits of your chocolate?February 14, 2022
Okay, it is not a human health blog, but to so many of us our pets are a very important part of our families and as I’ve told you before, can contribute mightily to our health. So here’s some advice from the ASPCA about keeping our pets safe around St. Valentine’s Day.
Each year our poison control experts see a rise in cases around February 14, many involving chocolate or lilies, a flower that’s potentially fatal to cats. Valentine’s Day can be as much fun for pets as it is for humans—as long as dangerous items are kept out of paws’ reach!
- When sending a floral arrangement to someone with a cat, specify that it contains no lilies—and when receiving an arrangement, sift through and remove all dangerous flora.
- If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, they may have ingested an offending flower or plant.
- Use our online toxic and nontoxic plant libraries as visual guides of what shouldn’t be in your bouquets.
- Seasoned pet lovers know that all types of chocolate are potentially life-threatening when ingested by pets.
- Methylxanthines are caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurologic, and cardiac function—they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, and an abnormally elevated heart rate.
- The high-fat content in lighter chocolates can potentially lead to life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.
- Humans can go ahead and indulge, but don’t leave chocolate out for chowhounds to find.
Careful with Cocktails
- Spilled wine, half a glass of champagne, or some leftover liquor are nothing to cry over until a curious pet laps them up.
- Because animals are smaller than humans, a little bit of alcohol can do a lot of harm, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances, and even coma.
- Potentially fatal respiratory failure can also occur if a large amount is ingested.
- Keep all alcohol out of reach of your pets.
Life Is Sweet
- So don’t let pets near treats sweetened with xylitol.
- If ingested, gum, candy, and other treats that include this sweetener can result in hypoglycemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar).
- This can cause your pet to suffer depression, loss of coordination, and seizures.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
- Don’t let pets near roses or other thorny-stemmed flowers.
- Biting, stepping on, or swallowing their sharp, woody spines can cause serious infection if a puncture occurs.
- De-thorn your roses far away from pets.
Playing with Fire
- It’s nice to set your evening aglow with candlelight, but put out the fire when you leave the room.
- Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.
Wrap It Up
- Gather up tape, ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, cellophane, and balloons after presents have been opened—if swallowed, these long, stringy, and “fun-to-chew” items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive tract, causing her to choke or vomit.
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.