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Why Your Pet Needs To Stay Away From Tinsel And Chocolate This Holiday Season

The magic of Christmas is in the air, and it's easy to get caught up in all the holiday fun. But before you start decorating your home or planning a feast with family and friends, remember that many decorations and treats we love so much can be harmful to our pets.


This article will examine the health hazards chocolate and tinsel pose to our pets.


Tinsel Poisoning

Tinsel's shiny, silver strands are irresistible to pets but can cause serious health problems if ingested. Tinsel ingestion can cause a severe "linear foreign body." This occurs when stringy pieces of material get wrapped around your pet's tongue or are anchored in the intestines and cannot pass through the digestive system.

This is very dangerous to your pet as the foreign object slices through the soft tissue of the intestinal tract every time the intestines contract. Tinsel can also cause blockages in the intestines which may lead to rapture.

Tinsel ingestion can lead to excruciating pain for your pet, and in some cases, animals end up with intestinal complications requiring emergency surgery.


Symptoms Of Tinsel Ingestion

The extent of damage done by your dog eating tinsel can vary widely, and the symptoms may or may not be obvious. For example, if tinsel gets lodged in a dog's stomach or around his tongue, the consequences can be severe and life-threatening within days.

But if your dog swallows the tinsel, it could get stuck in his stomach or intestines. This can cause serious blockages or ruptures, leading to life-threatening emergencies. Some of the most common initial symptoms reported are:


  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy


Treatment For Tinsel Poisoning

Surgery will be necessary to remove the tinsel and repair any damage it may have caused. The entire intestinal tract and stomach will also need to be examined so that none of the metallic floss remains nor any injuries are left unrepaired.


Chocolate Poisoning

Theobromine, found in cocoa products, is a substance that can be harmful to dogs and other animals whose bodies cannot metabolize it as easily as humans do. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids and is, therefore, more toxic than white chocolate, but even a small amount of dark or white chocolate can be poisonous depending on the size of the animal.

While white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids, it contains a lot of fat and sugar. Eating large amounts can cause stomach upsets or even pancreatitis in some pets.


Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Pets

When Theobromine is ingested in large enough quantities, it can cause symptoms like those seen with caffeine intoxication and include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Diarrhea and Vomiting
  • Increased urination
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms of severe chocolate poisoning include:

  • Tremors
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure


Treatment Of Chocolate Poisoning

The type and amount of chocolate ingested will determine the treatment necessary for recovery. 

Common treatments include:

  • A fluid drip
  • Induced vomiting
  • Activated charcoal


If your pet's condition worsens, it's important to seek advice from a veterinarian.


Looking For A Place That Can Provide All Your Pet's Needs This Holiday Season?

The Pet Spot is the perfect place for your pet to have a fun and safe time while you are away from home. Whether it's because you need someone to watch them or they just enjoy coming here, our caring staff provides wonderful service for all kinds of animals. 

We are now offering full-service veterinary care, so do not hesitate to give us a call at 720-782-6669 if you are concerned about something your pet ingested.


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