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Paw prints: Be wary of your pet’s holiday diet

Check the ingredient list on your pack of chewing gum for xylitol and make sure your pet can not get to it. Unfortunately, products containing xylitol do not have warning labels stating how dangerous it is for dogs.

Raisins

The exact mechanism is not fully clear, but grapes and raisins can also be very dangerous to dogs if ingested. Once consumed, signs can vary from vomiting and diarrhea to acute renal failure and death. It is unknown whether a large quantity of raisins all at once or small amounts over time cause this toxicity. Either way, avoid giving your dog grapes and raisins entirely.

Macadamia Nuts

This type of nut is another treat that causes toxicity in dogs but is not fully understood. Ingestion of just 10 nuts by a small dog can cause severe weakness, tremors and vomiting. Fortunately, treatment is not always necessary because most dogs seem to recover on their own after two days.

Enjoy your Halloween candy, but make sure to keep it out of reach from your pet. Teach your children this important information as well.

On a different topic, we are in the height of flea and tick season. Do not stop using your flea, tick and heartworm prevention even though it is cooler. I recommend using these products every month, year-round. All pets in the household should be treated, including indoor-only cats.

The Cazenovia Animal Hospital has had numerous dogs and cats coming in with live fleas and ticks these past few weeks. Preventing an infestation is much easier and more cost-effective than treating an active flea problem.

Dr. Anne Weiskotten Galton is a veterinarian at Cazenovia Animal Hospital. She can be reached at 655-3409 or agalton28@yahoo.com.

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