We at Park Avenue Animal Hospital would like to take the time to wish all of our friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. We feel truly Blessed to have such wonderful clients and patients, and we want everyone to be safe over the Holidays.

Parties and family get togethers usually center around food and treats. It’s very tempting to feed our pets Christmas goodies, but be very careful what you give. Any chocolate treats or treats that have artificial sweeteners should be avoided. Both contain compounds that are toxic at high levels to your pets. Fatty or spicy foods can cause pancreatitis and/or gastroenteritis which in turn can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes hospitalization is required.

Christmas turkeys, ducks or chickens have bones that can be dangerous. Nobody wants to have surgery during the Holidays. Try to only give treats that are specifically made for pets. For example, here at Park Avenue Animal Hospital, we give our patients that come in during the Holiday season treats baked by Piglet’s Pantry, in Mt. Dora.

Christmas decorations can be dangerous also. Tinsel and garland are very attractive to our feline friends. Two years ago, I had to do surgery on Christmas Day, on a cat that wouldn’t stop vomiting. During surgery, I pulled five feet of garland out of her stomach – not a great Christmas present for the kitty.

Christmas plants like poinsettias, holly and mistletoe can make dogs and cats sick, or worse.  Keep them in a safe place, away from inquisitive noses and mouths.

Christmas trees can also be dangerous. Cats like to climb up the trees sometimes, and they can pull the entire tree down. Also electrical cords can be attractive chew toys. Don’t let dogs or cats drink the tree water. It can contain harmful bacteria that can cause illness. Wagging tails can knock ornaments off the tree and cause glass breakage which can then cut the bottoms of sensitive paws. Keep only plastic , non breakable ornaments on the lower branches of your tree.

We hope that your Holidays will be fun, and stress free. We at Park Avenue Animal Hospital will be available any time during the Holidays, as usual, if you have a problem. The doctors and staff at Park Avenue Animal Hospital hope that 2014 is a wonderful year and we look forward to serving you.

Happy Holidays!!

Dr. Rick