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    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 3 - Mistletoe)


    DAY 3: Mistletoe

    Before you pucker up to kiss your sweetheart, be sure that bunch of mistletoe is well secured to the door jam. Though a strategically placed sprig of mistletoe may get you that Christmas "snog" you've been dreaming about all year, it may also land your dog or cat in the hospital if it falls to the ground or they find another way to get their paws on it.

    Be aware

    Even when eaten in small quantities, mistletoe can cause your pets excessive drooling and digestive upset. The latter of which may manifest as vomiting and diarrhea - which kinda ruins the thought of the previously mentioned snog I guess, doesn't it? But even bigger problems are in store for your pet if they ingest a larger quantity of this common Christmas decoration.

    In these situations your pet may experience heart and/or neurologic problems, which could include abnormal heart rate and rhythm, decreased blood pressure, and a staggered walk. If left untreated, these signs can progress to collapse, seizures, coma, and even death. Now I've really ruined the thought of the snog, haven't I? I'm sorry, truly, I am... but you really should be aware of this.

    If your pet has ingested any quantity of mistletoe...

    ...you should seek immediate veterinary advice. You can do so from your regular veterinarian, the local Animal ER, or from a dedicated animal poison control hotline . Though severe toxicity from mistletoe is uncommon, many factors will influence the degree of toxicity your pet will experience should they be unfortunate enough to ingest it. And as with all potential or known toxicities, you should not delay in seeking professional veterinary advice. The sooner appropriate actions are taken, the greater the chances that a better outcome will be realized.

    Preventing mistletoe toxicity

    • If you hang mistletoe in your home, be sure it's well secured.
    • Take the berries off of any mistletoe you hang in your home.
    • Be careful when putting up (and taking down) your holiday decorations; do not leave the mistletoe laying around where your pets can get to it.
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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, Plants Poisonous for Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Vomiting, Poison control, Christmas pet hazards, Diarrhea, Neurological problems, Plants Poisonous for Dogs, Mistletoe

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 9 - Ribbons & Bows)


    DAY 9: Ribbons & Bows

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that curly ribbon and gift bows are good toys for your cats – after all, pictures and videos of playful cats rolling around with such objects can be found everywhere online, on television, and in print ads. But we in the veterinary profession also want pet owners to be aware that another place we commonly see kittens and cats playing with Christmas ribbons – or at least the debilitating and expensive results of such activities – is in the veterinary clinics and Animal ERs all across the country.

    This article will tell you what you need to know to recognize, react, and prevent this common holiday pet hazard. So dig in, read on, and don’t forget to share this information with your friends and family.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, holiday pet safety tips, Vomiting, Christmas pet hazards, Pet safety and houseguests, Linear Foreign Body, Cats and string, Diarrhea, Hiding, Septic peritonitis

    Help... my cat can’t pee! Feline Urethral Obstruction: Be Prepared... What to do


    In the article Feline Urethral Obstruction: Be Aware I covered the ‘what’ of urethral obstruction. In this article I’ll be detailing the things you should know to be prepared for in the event of a urethral obstruction. Hopefully you’ll never need this information, but as with most things in life, it's best to have it and know it's here if you do. After all, when it comes to feline urethral obstruction, your cat’s life is truly at stake.

    If you’ve ever had a cat that has suffered a urethral obstruction you can help me help others by taking a minute or two to fill out an online survey about pet owner experiences with this condition. It's completely anonymous and only takes a minute or two to complete. Thank you in advance.

    What should I do if I suspect that my cat has a urethral obstruction?

    As I started out with and highlighted in the first post of this seriesA cat that cannot pee is a cat that’s going to die, unless appropriate veterinary medical care is obtained immediately. Urethral obstruction is a very severe, very acute, very critical medical emergency.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Cat Safety, Overweight Cat, Urethral Obstruction, Lack of urine in the litter box, Excessive drinking, Traveling with your cat, Feline Urethral Obstruction, Vomiting, My cat can't pee, Frequent trips to the litter box, Male cat, Loss of appetite, Blog

    Help... my cat can’t pee! Feline Urethral Obstruction: Be Aware


    Let me start by saying this… A cat that cannot pee is a cat that’s going to die, unless appropriate veterinary medical care is obtained immediately.

    Urethral obstruction is a very severe, very acute, very critical medical emergency.

    If you take nothing else from this initial installment in my article series about feline urethral obstruction, I hope you will at least appreciate the importance of being able to promptly recognize this common pet emergency. The second and third installments will deal with ‘what to do’ in the event of a urethral obstruction and the steps you should take to minimize its likelihood or prevent it all together, respectively.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Cat Safety, Overweight Cat, Urethral Obstruction, Lack of urine in the litter box, Excessive drinking, Feline Urethral Obstruction, Vomiting, My cat can't pee, Frequent trips to the litter box, Male cat, Loss of appetite, Cystitis

    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.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.