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Avoid The Summertime Blues

As we enjoy our summer trips, barbecues, and outings with family and friends, we of course want our animal companions to participate. But what is perfectly safe for us can sometimes present a threat to our pets. We at Evergreen Animal Hospital want to help you avoid trips to the animal ER this summer, so below is some guidance on how to keep your furry friends safe. 

One of the main culprits we see is the ingestions of foods that can be toxic to pets. Here are several to avoid during those backyard barbecues:

CORNCOBS: can very easily block an intestine, often requiring emergency surgery.

FATTY FOODS: like bacon, grill grease (empty those traps!), fries, peanut butter, and avocados can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as a painful and sometimes fatal disease called pancreatitis. 

SALTY FOODS: like the bacon we already mentioned and things like fries and chips, can cause GI distress and pancreatitis as well as seizures and even death at high levels. 

ONIONS AND GARLIC: very small amounts are typically not a problem, however chronic low-level exposure (regular feeding) or single exposure to a higher concentration (garlic or onion powder extracts) can cause a low red blood cell count in dogs, resulting in low energy, organ shutdown, and death. 

In some instances, ingestion of GRAPES and RAISINS can lead to kidney failure. 

ALCOHOL: intoxication in dogs can cause GI distress, difficulty walking, neurological disease, and in severe cases, death. As dogs are usually smaller than humans and have no tolerance, it doesn't take much to cause a problem. 

SUGARY DRINKS: as well as some candies and gums, can contain a synthetic sugar called XYLITOL that can cause life-threatening low blood sugar and liver damage. 

Planning to travel this summer? Beware of a few tourist favorites that can be dangerous:

  • MACADAMIA NUTS: can cause GI distress as well as difficulty walking and standing.
  • CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE: contain caffeine and other substances that can lead to GI distress, heart problems, neurological problems, and death.

Also, be aware of that summer COMPOST PILE and TRASH from festivities. BONES from the trash can cause damage to the GI tract from splintering as well as a risk of obstruction. FUNGUS (mold) and MUSHROOMS from the compost pile can cause GI distress as well as severe liver and neurological damage in pets. 

Home brewers, be aware that HOPS (in any form, fresh or spent) represent a severe danger for dogs if ingested. Fairly small amounts can cause a condition called malignant hyperthermia, involving life-threatening spikes in body temperature that are difficult and expensive to control and often lead to death.

NOTE: The above list is not exhaustive or all-inclusive and does not constitute veterinary advice. Any concerns that you have about foods your pet may have ingested should be discussed with your veterinarian, a veterinary emergency facility, or an animal poison control center. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center maintains a fairly comprehensive database of toxic foods if you seek further information: People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets | ASPCA

Evergreen Animal Hospital is open every day, excluding major holidays, for urgent care and general practice needs. Our hours are Monday- Friday 7am-7pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm. Call Evergreen Animal Hospital located at 32175 Castle Ct, Evergreen CO, 80439 by dialing 303-674-4331.

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