Things to consider before adopting a pet during the holidays
Leticia Fanucchi is a clinical assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Oklahoma State University.
During the holidays, it’s typical for people to indulge in special foods. Being a pet owner myself, I know that many pet parents want to give their fur babies special treats as well.
As a veterinarian and clinical veterinary researcher, however, I also know that some very common foods – including many popular holiday staples – are dangerous to pets.
Here are some of the most common food-related crises we veterinarians encounter in the animal ER during the holidays, and what to do if they happen.
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Fatty food risks
Turkey with gravy is probably among the most popular holiday meals. And most dogs or cats would certainly agree with their humans that roast turkey is delicious.
However, the fat contained in turkey skin – and the excess of fatty, greasy foods that can accompany it, such as gravy, butter and bacon – don’t go down well with cats and dogs. Pets that ingest an overload of fats may develop pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, the organ that helps break down fat, protein and carbs.
Pancreatitis causes the pancreas to leak digestive enzymes and ultimately “digest” itself. If untreated, pancreatitis can affect other organ systems such as the kidneys and the liver and even cause blood clotting.
The most common symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting and diarrhea. Pets that may have pancreatitis should be rushed to the closest veterinary hospital or ER. The vet will perform diagnostic blood tests, including a specific test for pancreatic enzymes called pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity or cPLI/fPLI.
Treatment for pancreatitis mostly involves dealing with its symptoms. The pet receives …….