Langley Animal Clinic Wishes You A Pet Safe Holiday

Langley Animal Clinic Wishes You A Pet Safe Holiday

Christmas Tree Hazard-You might enjoy the fresh scent of a real Christmas tree every year but this year please take extra care in choosing your tree. There has been reports of cats and kittens dying after ingesting pine needles from trees sprayed with Ethylene Glycol, a chemical commonly found in anti-freeze. It is reported that these trees were sprayed to prevent frost from damaging them once cut. This chemical Ethylene Glycol is extremely toxic to cats.  The coating tastes sweet and would be hard for cats to resist.

Block pets from tree water- the water is dirty and could also contain stray needles which can be dangerous if ingested.

Tinsel- These small strings may look shiny and pretty on your Christmas tree, they pose a hazard and can block an animal’s intestinal tract if ingested. Tinsel, while not toxic, is very attractive to pets, particularly cats. This dangling decoration reflects light and can look dazzling to your cat.  Once your pet eats the tinsel, it can cause serious injury. If not caught in time, this foreign body ingestion could actually be fatal as it twists and bunches inside your pet’s intestines. Immediate veterinary care is required.

Ornaments and decorations– Bright and colorful tree ornaments can attract your pet’s curiosity. Please place glass, aluminum and paper ornaments higher up on the tree. Pets can chew and swallow these fragile objects and not only can broken pieces form sharp edges that may lacerate your pet’s mouth, throat and intestines, they could also create a choking hazard.

Presents under the tree– Friends and family may leave a few nice gifts for you to wait and open on Christmas Day, your pet may open them earlier. Wrapping paper and gift bags may hide potential hazards like Chocolate which can be toxic to both cats and dogs. Gift wrap ribbons can become ingested and cause intestinal problems and blockages.

Keep Christmas lights up high- If  lights are hung to low, pets can chew them and become electrocuted.

Candles- Many people light a few candles for extra Christmas cheer. Please place them out of reach from your pets, as they can be knocked over causing burns from hot wax as well as a fire hazard.

Holiday Plants can be poisonous- Mistletoe, Holly, Amaryllis, Lilies and Poinsettia’s are all toxic to cats and dogs. Seek vet care immediately if eaten.

Holiday Guests- They may leave suitcases which could contain medications in them, which could be harmful if ingested by a curious cat or dog. They may also store gifts containing treats like chocolate that is toxic to cats and dogs.

Food and Beverages that are unsafe-Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine -These products all contain substances called methylxanthines , which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.
Yeast Dough-can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture.
Chicken or Turkey Bones, as they may splinter and cause mouth and throat or internal injuries by becoming lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract. Rich foods can also cause pancreatitus due to the high fat content.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Macadamia Nuts-Problems after ingestion include, weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.                                                                                                                                                  

Raisins and Grapes– contain an unknown toxic substance, have been known to cause kidney failure

If you believe your pet has eaten any of the above items, please contact us and get veterinary attention immediately.

Keep your veterinarians information handy- If you have guests staying with  you and your pet over the holidays its important to have the info in an easy to find place if there was a sudden emergency. When in doubt or if any concerns arise, please contact us we are happy to answer your questions. Please call us right away if you suspect your pet may have an emergency 604-534-4813. Your questions can also be emailed to

Merry Christmas and a Safe and Healthy New Year for you and your pets, from all the Veterinarians and staff at the Langley Animal Clinic