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    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 10 - Liquid Potpourri)


    DAY 10: Liquid Potpourri

    Some of the nicest things about the holidays are the smells, wouldn't you agree? Whether it's the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, cookies baking in the oven, or a crackling wood fire – the smells make this time of year is so enjoyable.

    Liquid potpourri is a substance that can create or help to mimic some of those wonderful holiday smells. And while these oily liquids can fill a house with a sensory overload of wonderful aromas without all the 'hassle' of baking cookies, lighting a fire, or cutting down a pine tree, they also pose a very real, and potentially very significant, hazard to your pets - especially your cats.

    Be aware

    Liquid potpourris typically contain two substances that can be toxic to your pets - essential oils and cationic detergents. Whether or not they're specifically listed on the label, they're almost always present, albeit in varying concentrations.

    While the essential oil component of the liquid potpourris can cause problems for your pets (depending on the type and concentration of the essential oil), typically it’s the cationic detergents that cause the bigger problems.

    The cationic detergents present in liquid potpourri can cause severe ulceration and chemical burns to the surfaces within your pet's mouth and along their digestive tract. They can cause similar problems if they come into contact with their skin or their eyes, too.

    As you might imagine, burns within your pet’s mouth, or anywhere along their digestive tract, can be extremely painful. This pain often causes affected pets to go off their food, and this, in turn, can lead to a whole other set of problems. Of particular concern, especially if your cat is overweight or obese, is the development of hepatic lipidosis.

    If the concentration of the detergents within the potpourri is high enough, and the burns sustained severe enough, your pet could wind up with a perforated ulcer, or hole, in their esophagus. This carries a very poor prognosis for survival, sometimes even in spite of appropriate and timely treatment.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet poison control, Hepatic Lipidosis, Pet emergency, Cationic detergents, Do not induce vomiting, Liquid Potpourri

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 5 - Lilies)


    DAY 5: Lilies

    While lilies don’t exactly ‘scream’ Christmas – flowers do – and lilies are amongst the most common types of flowers found in bouquets at all times of the year, including Christmas.

    Lily toxicity is something everybody should be aware of, regardless of whether or not they have cats. Even non-cat owners need to know about this because they may well be the one to send you or bring over your next bouquet of flowers! If they’re not aware of the danger they won’t know to advise the florist that lilies should not be included in the bouquet.

    Lilies Kill Cats!
    Stargazer lilies, Rubrum lilies, Tiger lilies, and the other members of the Lilum genus, the ‘true lilies’ as they are known, are highly toxic to cats. So too are certain types of Day lilies.

    These types of lilies are so toxic, that a nibble on one or two petals, a lap of spilled vase water, or the ingestion of a small amount of pollen (such as what happens when a cat grooms itself) can be enough to put a cat into expensive, debilitating, and potentially fatal acute kidney failure.
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    Topics: Cat Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity in cats, Lilies, Tiger Lily, Lily Toxicity in Cats, Stargazer Lily, Lily Flowers, Rubrum Lily, Plants Poisonous for Cats, pet poison control, Poison control, Poison control for cats, Christmas pet hazards, Flowers

    Lesser Known Pet Toxicities: Human Pain Relievers and Cats Don't Mix


    Accidental poisoning is one of the most common reasons people bring their pets in for an emergency veterinary visit or call animal poison control each year. Toxicity caused by human pain relievers is one of the most preventable pet toxicities. Just a little awareness and simple changes to routine will prevent the majority of pets from accessing and eating little pills. The toxic results of ingestion can include damaged red blood cells, gastrointestinal ulceration, and liver or kidney failure, among other things.

    Think about it — most of the time, pain relievers and supplements intended for people are found in medicine cabinets or personal bags and purses. It’s easy enough to hang bags and purses on a high hook instead of throwing them on a chair when you get home at night — that eliminates the opportunity for pets to access them there.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, toxicity in cats, medication, poison control center phone number, poison control number, medications, drugs, medicine, pet poison control free, poison control hotline, poison control center number, pet poison control, prescription drugs, Poison control, Poison control for cats, Blog

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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