Pet parents of traditional Thanksgiving trash-raiders, take note. Among the many hazards dogs (and the occasional intrepid cat) can encounter in the garbage is the carcass and bone fragments of whatever type of fowl was on the dinner menu. This can spell trouble in more than a few ways. According to the federal Food and Drug Administration, the top reasons why bones are not good for dogs include:
As we kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, it's important to remember that sharing your plate with your furry family member can be a recipe for disaster.
That's because most pancreatitis cases occur after a pet eats a high-fat meal. Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas that can make pets extremely ill. The pancreas is an abdominal organ located just below the stomach that produces digestive enzymes to break down dietary fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
The pancreas also produces insulin, which helps move glucose from the blood into cells for energy production. Pancreatitis can lead to dehydration, organ damage, diabetes, insufficient enzyme production, and, in severe cases, death.
In an effort to include pets in holiday celebrations, pet owners or their house guests often feed them fatty treats, which stimulate a sudden release of lipase, a pancreatic enzyme that helps fat digestion and can cause internal pancreatic digestion, severe inflammation and tissue damage. Toxins released from damaged tissue cause a systemic inflammatory response and severe illness.
Some breeds, including miniature schnauzers, are more likely to develop pancreatitis because of their pre-existing altered metabolism.
Pets with pancreatitis can become extremely sick and may display the following signs:
A pet who has clinical signs of vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours or who does not eat for 24 hours should be examined by a veterinarian immediately.
Treatment for pets with pancreatitis typically includes aggressive rehydration with intravenous fluids and electrolytes during several days of hospitalization. Anti-vomiting and anti-diarrheal medications can be used to treat symptoms, and pain medications can keep pets comfortable.
Recovering pets are fed a bland, fat-restricted diet for several weeks before gradually resuming their normal diets.
So, this Thanksgiving, don't pass (your pet) the gravy! Make it a baby carrot or fresh green bean instead.
As both National Senior Pet Month and National Adoption Month, GWLAH would like to encourage you to consider adopting a senior pet in November. Senior pets have just as much love to give as puppies and kittens, but are often overlooked because of their age. They are past the shoe chewing and curtain-climbing phases, and have settled into their personalities, so what you see is what you get. Senior pets make wonderful companions; won't you consider saving a life and bringing one home?