Oct 28, 2010

Halloween - a doggy nightmare

G'day Dog Lovers,

Vets are cautioning pet owners to be aware of the stresses and dangers of Halloween and to keep their pets safe. Pets see Halloween as a stressful time of parties, endless doorbell ringing, loud and scary noises in the night and a stream of strangers visiting the home. Sadly, pets are also often injured, terrorised and even killed at this time of year.

"Black cats are often the target of malicious acts and should be kept inside during this holiday," says Troy James, Operations Manager of the Animal Referral Hospital (ARH), a 24-hour veterinary hospital in Strathfield and Baulkham Hills

During Halloween, the ARH often sees pets suffering from injuries, accidents and poisoning. Parties have loud music and often fireworks, which result in gates being left open and animals that are noise-phobic escaping, which then leads to lost pets and animals hit by motor vehicles, James says.

"I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring your pet's microchip details are kept up-to-date on our national databases, as the emergency service teams are often confronted with animals presenting after-hours that have injuries with non-valid microchips," he says. "When owners cannot be located and consent obtained, treatment options become limited to basic first aid and stabilisation."

Vets also see animals fed candy and chocolate, which are toxic and can result in a range of symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, pancreatitis, seizures, coma and, in extreme cases, death, says vet Dr Alex Hamilton.

"Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine that has effects on the nervous system, heart, kidneys and muscles," Hamilton says.

Gum, boiled sweets and lollies should also be avoided. "These sweets usually contain high levels of sugar, which can cause dental disease and intestinal upsets if fed too much. Instead, feed treats designed purposely for pets. Although they may not seem appetising to us, a well-prepared liver treat is often as palatable to a dog as any chocolate or candy that we may give them," he says.


Scratchingdoghelp.com said...

We don't have a major halloween celebration in Australia yet, although it is gaining in popularity every year.

Pup_87 said...

It's definanly growing in popularity. My lolly supply got completely cleaned out this year as I wasn't expecting any trick or treaters. And one of my dogs nearly had a heart attack when "Dracula" turned up on the doorstep :-)

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