PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Greencross Vets Silkstone practice manager Naomi Kinsela keeps an eye on Marley.
PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Greencross Vets Silkstone practice manager Naomi Kinsela keeps an eye on Marley. David Nielsen

Keep your furry friends safe in the silly season

AS YOU enjoy a Christmas feast with loved ones, it may be tempting to slide your pet a piece of turkey or pork crackling under the table.

But veterinarian Tony Snell is advising owners to resist the urge.

Dr Snell, who works at Greencross vets in Silkstone, said feeding pets Christmas leftovers could play havoc with their intestines and - in some cases - kill them.

"During the festive period we see a lot of animals brought in suffering gastro-intestinal problems," he said.

"The reason for their ill health is that they've eaten something they shouldn't have, like rich foods such as turkey, ham or chocolate."

Dr Snell said the worst-case scenario was when animals developed pancreatitis from eating the wrong food.

He said the illness was characterised by an onset of vomiting, dehydration and severe pain in the abdomen and could become a life-threatening condition.

To avoid such problems, Dr Snell said owners needed to take responsibility for their pets and resist the temptation to give them foods they shouldn't.

The time of year also posed another potential problem for pets with loud noises associated with the summer thunderstorm season.

Thunder has been recognised as one of the most prevalent phobias in animals.

Dr Snell said, for many dogs and cats, a storm could be a very traumatic event and fill them with anxiety.

RSPCA Queensland advised pet owners to take precautions if there was a chance of a storm or loud noises like fireworks.

The organisation suggested owners be at home with their pets during a storm event and have them in a secure area so they could not escape if the situation became too scary for them.

The RSPCA also recommended restricting lightning flashes during an electrical storm by closing blinds and curtains so pets wouldn't be reactive to the flashes.

Dr Snell said his clinic was open throughout the festive season with the exception of Christmas and Boxing days.

But he said the Animal Emergency Centre in Woolloongabba would be open on those days to offer vet care to sick and injured pets.

To contact the AEC, phone 1300 232 838.

Pet holiday hazards

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Mouldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Rich or fatty foods
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Christmas tree water
  • Ribbons or tinsel
  • Glass ornaments
  • Potpourris

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