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Q: What holiday foods are dangerous to my pets?

Posted November 07, 2012 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

A: Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. And for my dog as well. Let me set the scene. It’s Thanksgiving Day 2010. My husband and I are hosting for the first time. We were up all night preparing the turkey, the cranberries and the sweet potatoes. Our table was full of extended family and friends. This was a day to celebrate not only a traditional feast, but also the announcement that we were expecting our first child. As we told our parents they would soon be grandparents, the table exploded in celebratory hugs and handshakes. My dog decided to take advantage of this moment. In a flash the entire dish of sweet potatoes was gobbled up. Fortunately her overindulgence did not have long-lasting side effects, but this may not always be true. Here is a list of the common foods that can be toxic to dogs and cats:
• Grapes and raisins. These can cause kidney damage.
• Chocolate. Pets can experience heart arrhythmias, vomiting and diarrhea.
• Xylitol. This artificial sweetener in gum, toothpastes and other products in extremely dangerous, resulting in low blood sugar levels and potentially death.
• Nuts. These can result in intestinal tract obstructions, and some, such as Macadamia nuts, are toxic.
• Onions and garlic. This can causes a serious disorder called hemolytic anemia.
• Please keep the above foods away from your pets this holiday. If ingested, please contact our veterinary hospital immediately. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Information provided by Dr. Laurie Meythaler-Mullins, Ingersoll Animal Hospital, 3009 Ingersoll Ave., 650-2770.

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