2014 Merry Christmas from Nog and all his colleagues at The Vet Centre

Merry Christmas to all my animal friends and your owners.

There are lots of things to catch up on this month, it is a very busy time of year in the practice and for all our pet parents.  There are a few things I would like to share including reminders of some of the things to be wary of to keep the pets in the family free from harm when everyone is rushing around planning festive people gatherings.

Firstly though, we are conducting a survey which we would love all our clients to complete. We really value the feedback and comments on the services offered by our vets and nurses. I keep saying that everyone is busy at this time of year, but if you could spare five minutes to sit down at your computer or with your smart phone to take part in our surveywe would be really grateful. Everyone who takes part will be entered in a draw with the chance to win £100 in vouchers, plus other prizes of £50 and £25, the draw will take place at the end of January, but please take part as soon as you can.

Now on to the hazards of the festive season for pets……………………….

·         Chocolate- Chocolate contains theobromine which can be toxic to dogs and is one of the most common poisonings seen by vets over the Christmas period. Only last week Ellie the Spaniel had to come to see us having eaten a whole chocolate advent calendar. Thank fully her owners spotted the mistake (it obviously wasn’t Ellie’s fault if the chocolaty calendar was left within her reach) and brought her in to see vet Kate who was able to give her something to make her sick, and prevent any long term damage. So please make sure your owners don’t put any chocolate Christmas decorations or family sized tins within temptations reach.

·         Vine fruits grapes, currants, raisins, and sultanas are also poisonous and can cause kidney problems if eaten. So please no sharing of the Christmas pudding, cake or even mince pies with your pet family members even when we do our best neglected pet really really starving faces. The chances are we are not starving and sharing the cake would make us ill.

·         Bones and birds- Roasted turkeys, geese and ducks all smell wonderful, and there will be temptation to share these meaty delights with your pets. A small piece won’t hurt but quantities of fatty skin or anything with tiny poultry bones which can splinter is only likely to result in vomiting dogs and a visit to my lovely vet colleagues to get the choking hazard removed.  As my Dad, Vet Paddyoften says to me “all things in moderation Nog” and that is the best way to treat your pets over the holidays.

·         Plants- Many of the plants which decorate our homes over this Christmas season are poisonous to cats and dogs if eaten. Amaryllis, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Ivy, Yew, and Lilies, (especially to cats) plus the water at the bottom of the tree. Christmas Trees are often treated with a substance to prevent the needles dropping in warm houses but this make the water in the bottom of the Christmas tree stand poisonous to me, Beetle and Tim, so I always head for my own water bowl instead.

·         Christmas decorations- glass baubles, tinsel, candles, extra electric wires all contribute to pretty homes at this time of year. But beware of the twinkly temptations to puppies and kittens trying to climb the Christmas tree or sit quietly chewing things they are not supposed too!

·         Anti-freeze- As the winter weather seems finally to have arrived and temperatures are dropping anti-freeze is commonly used to prevent cars and pipes from freezing up. Most anti-freeze contains ethylene glycol, and finds its way onto the ground through drips and leakage. Anti-freeze tastes sweet and is therefore palatable to cats and dogs. It is also toxic and can cause damage to our livers, kidneys and brains. Please make sure therefore that your owners store their anti-freeze carefully and check for signs of leakages.

·         If we remind our owners of this simple list of winter time hazards we can all stay safe and enjoy the holiday time with them.

Most of all I wish you and all the clients of The Vet Centre a happy and healthy Christmas. We hope we won’t need to see you on Christmas Day but the vets and nurses will be taking it in turns to be on hand if there are emergencies for our registered clients.

Festive wishes from Nog