Candy is Dandy, but…

halloween-bucketCandy is dandy, but…

                Happy Halloween! Tonight is a night of ghouls and ghosts, costumes and candy! It should be a fun night for all! And our goal is to keep Fluffy out of the ER tonight! So, what is the best was to accomplish that? Don’t share the treats! Make sure they are kept out of your pet’s reach. There are a variety of treats that can be toxic to your pet. Chocolate (especially dark and baking chocolate), sugar-free treats containing Xylitol, and edibles made with marijuana can all be dangerous for dogs and cats.

  1. Chocolate – chocolate contains methylxanthines. When ingested, you may notice vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizures, and possibly death. The severity of the signs depends on a number of factors – the type of chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it can be), the amount ingested, the size of your pet, and even the amount of time (from ingestion to realizing your pet ingested it) can all play a role.chocolate
  2. Xylitol – this is a common ingredient in many sugar-free products like gum, candy, and baked goods. So, what’s the big deal? Well, Xylitol can cause too much insulin to be released. This can lead to hypoglycemia (a low blood sugar level) and possibly liver failure. Some initial signs you may notice are vomiting, lethargy, and a loss of coordination. Signs my even progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and/or liver failure may not show up for a few days.xylitol-products
  3. Edibles – Halloween treats made with marijuana can pose multiple threats. Not only is the marijuana a hazard to your pet’s health, if it is in combination with chocolate (i.e. brownies) or a sugar-free candy (i.e. lollipops), it can be a double whammy. Signs of marijuana ingestion include depression, vomiting, incoordination, sleepiness or excitation, hypersalivation, dilated pupils, low blood pressure, low body temperature, seizures, coma, and, rarely, death. Please, if your pet ingests marijuana, be open with the technician or doctor should they require medical attention. We are here to help your pet, and the sooner we know what we are dealing with, the sooner we can treat your pet properly. We are not here to judge you.edibles

Time is of the essence

The old adage, “the sooner, the better”, rings true here. If your pet ingests any of these products this Halloween, call your regular Veterinary Clinic, the local Animal ER, or ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline immediately. Information to have readily available is: the product (keep packaging if possible), the type of chocolate ingested, the approximate amount of the product ingested (in ounces), an approximate weight for your pet, and an approximate time of ingestion. Based on this information, you will be advised of the best course of action for your pet. This could include home monitoring, having a veterinarian induce vomiting, bloodwork, hospitalization, or a combination of any of these avenues of care.fluids2

Remember, the best way to have a safe Halloween is to keep the treats out of your pet’s reach! Please note this is not an all-inclusive list of potential toxic treats. This is just a list of the most common we tend to see around this time of year. If your pet ingests something it shouldn’t, and you’re not sure if it will cause a problem, please call your veterinarian. Have a safe and happy Halloween!pets-as-ozhot-dog-costume-file000768461509

Important Numbers to have on hand:

  • Advanced Pet Care of Parker: (303) 840-6300 (we are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on Halloween)
  • Animal Emergency and Specialty Center: (720) 842-5050 (open 24/7)
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline: 1 (888) 426-4435 (a consultation fee may apply)

 

 

 

Resources

ASPCA, Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants: Marijuana, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/marijuana