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Winter Time with your pet!

Winter Time Cat
  • Antifreeze
  • Chocolate
  • Holiday Paraphernalia
  • Warmth

Winter poses special risks to animals. There are cold temperatures, snow, ice and freezing rain, all of which can take a toll on our pets. It is busy season. There are tempting new sparkling inviting items in the home that are just waiting to be explored! Owners must be aware of these temptations and keep them out of harm's way to avoid an unexpected veterinary visit! Help keep your pet safe during the winter.

antifreeze, Very Dangerous to your Pet!


Antifreeze poisoning is common in small animals during the fall and winter months because of its sweet taste and widespread availability.

The incidence of poisoning is similar in dogs and cats. The minimum lethal dose for dogs is 1 teaspoon per two pounds of body weight. The minimum lethal dose for cats is 1/4 teaspoon per two pounds of body weight. With such a low lethal dose, it is no wonder that the mortality rate is extremely high!

Antifreeze poisoning is a MAJOR MEDICAL Emergency!

The prognosis for the intoxicated animal depends on the amount of liquid ingested and the time until veterinary medical attention is sought.

Treatment is aimed at preventing absorption and increasing excretion of the toxic principle Ethylene Glycol

To prevent Ethylene Glycol exposure, make sure your radiator is not leaking. Any antifreeze spills should be cleaned up immediately. Containers should be closed tightly and stored where animals have no access.

If you suspect antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) ingestion, consult your veterinarian immediately! Without veterinary attention, an animal could die in as little as 24 hours!

Chocolate is dangerous for your dog!


Chocolate is often given as a gift during the holidays. Pets are quite curious about presents under the tree. Make sure to remember which gifts contain chocolate and to keep them out of reach to avoid a possible fatality in the family.

Chocolate contains Theobromine a diuretic related to Caffeine and Theophylline also a central nervous system stimulant.

Clinical signs of chocolate toxicity occur within hours of ingestion. They include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Hyperactivity
  • Labored Breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Lack of Bladder Control
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Comatose
  • Death

Death is related to cardiac and or respiratory arrest. Although there are no specific antidotes for chocolate toxicity, most treatment regimes are aimed at delaying or preventing absorption and thereby hastening elimination.

Teach your children that sharing chocolate with their furry friend can actually make them very sick! If your pet ingests chocolate, consult your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY! Remember to save any uneaten amounts of chocolate to determine how much was consumed and the kind of chocolate.

Christmas Holly Berries are dangerous for your Pet!

Holiday Paraphernalia

Holiday Paraphernalia can be dangerous to animals. Holiday trees are covered with shiny glass ornaments, colorful bulbs, tinsel, and presents wrapped in paper with ribbons and bows waiting to be played with!

Make sure there is no tinsel or glass ornaments within reach of your pet. Ingestion of either can cause a bowel obstruction that requires immediate surgery!

Never put ribbons around your pet’s neck or allow it to play with plastic or foil wrappers in case of accidental ingestion.

Always cover or tack down electrical cord to avoid young animals from biting them.

Often owners will notice their puppy or kitten having trouble breathing (Dyspnea). Upon oral examination their tongue shows a seared area across it. The lips may also be seared.

Electrical cord bites will cause an acute form of heart failure and shock. Such cases should be seen immediately by a veterinarian!

In addition to the aforementioned items, many holiday plants can be toxic to our pets. Among those include:

  • Christmas Rose
  • Mistletoe
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Philodendron

Keep them out of your pet's reach and if ingestion is expected seek veterinary attention.


Winter poses risks to animals. Help your pet to weather the winter. Stay healthy and safe during the holiday season.

Winter Time Horses

Animals need shelter from the wind and elements. Staying warm requires extra calories. Feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops.

Add extra bedding to those sheltered outdoors. If possible, provide bedding off the ground to reduce chill and draft. Turn-out blankets (water-proof), can be provided for animals particularly as they age.

Remember to remove any ice, salt, or caked mud from your pet's paws and hooves during inclement weather. Seek veterinary help if you suspect your pet has frostbite.

Frostbite causes a freezing of tissues. It may not be noticeable at first. The most common location of frostbite seen in veterinary medicine is the tips of the ears. Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray. It may become scaly or slough. Warm the affected areas slowly with warm water. Surgery may be required depending on its location.

Cats and kittens often seek the warmth of an engine. Prior to starting the car, simply knock on the hood of the vehicle or honk the horn and wait a few minutes. Then start the car.

Senior and the very young are most susceptible to the cold. They may tremble and shiver. They may have difficulty walking on icy surfaces. Assist them to avoid a fall.

If owners take a few precautions, they can enjoy all of the tranquility and beauty that the winter has to offer.