Wyoming vet advises on keeping your pets safe around the holidays

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WYOMING, Mich. - The holidays are a time for gathering, family and friends getting together over a nice meal. But if the food you`re serving has grapes or onions in it your cat or your dog can get really sick or even die.

"So with grapes and onions can be toxic to dogs in diff. ways onions can cause red blood cells to fall apart in their veins and grapes and raisings can cause kidney failure in both dogs and cats," says Doctor Katie Carron, associate veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center of Wyoming.

"Nobody has been able to really pin down the exact amount that can cause toxicity in an animals it`s one of those great mysteries that are still out there," Carron says.

Decorating the Christmas tree usually starts with holiday lights, ornaments and of course tinsel which Carron says is especially dangerous for cats.

" If it gets stuck in the intestine the stomach will actually start sawing through the intestine even requiring surgery at times," Carron says.

"We have seen cases of tinsel, yarn, ribbon, pretty much any string that a cat might get into it has the potential of getting stuck and cause that problem," Carron says.

Christmas tree accessories are not the only holiday item you want to be aware of poinsettias and lilies are dangerous, too.

"Usually they eat some part of the plant and depending on the plant different parts are toxic to it so in lilies all of it is toxic in some cases its just the leaves and in some cases it`s just the berries so it varies immensely from plant to plant and animal to animal," Carron says, adding that lilies are more of a danger to cats than dogs.

"All parts of lilies to cats are toxic even just a little bit of pollen on their paws that they lick up can be toxic and it`s not going to be for a few days until they really truly get sick and then it can be too late."

Carron says the best advice she has for pet owners around the holidays is that if you believe your dog may have got into a toxic plant or food like onions, grapes, or chocolate call your vet or emergency hospital right away.

"The minute you know or even if you don`t know and they start acting up its not something that you want to wait around and see if its going to get better or not cause sometimes these toxins by the time they`re sick its already too late."

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