New Year without consequences: How to make you pets party safe
Not so long before the New Year, each of us falls into a holiday rush. We are in a hurry to do some shopping, decorate our houses, cook the New Year dinner. Decorating the Christmas tree, we are doing our best to surprise children, delight our guests and relatives. But how often at this moment we are thinking about our pets? You may believe to get along easily, as they, seems, will not bring much trouble, but, alas, the statistics is disappointing - during the New Year, when attention is totally concentrated on celebration, a large number of animals with injuries get into the veterinary clinics through fault and carelessness of their owners. What dangers are the most probable?
The most common problem, which many owners have encountered before the New Year is the swallowing of Christmas tinsel or tinsel icicles’ strands. Cats are mainly given to this addiction, regardless of the breed or age. This habit is triggered by the hunting instinct, forcing the animal to react on moving, sparkling and shimmering objects, attracting attention. Moreover cats can even eat the icicles, which hold the Christmas tree toys like threads or wires. Once a cat takes a tip of such decoration in its mouth, it is no more able to spit it out. The cat’s tongue contains elongated villi directed towards the throat, which force the food on the mouth only inwards. They finally make the animal is incapable to spit it away. Tinsel or icicles’ strands are similar to thin metal stripe, which may cut the internal organs of your pet! Inexperienced owners usually attach no importance to this problem. But tissue rupture, fraught with peritonitis and sepsis, may occur as a result of contacting of such strands with the intestinal wall, causing the agonizing death of an animal.
Vomiting, feeling of nausea, constipation, depression and the abdominal pain are the main symptoms in this situation. If this happens, you should give the emetic drug to your cat without delay. At a small amount of icicles any laxative will be suitable. However, if the general condition of the animal during the day has not changed, contact the twenty-four-hour veterinary clinic immediately or you will lose your pet. With timely treatment, the foreign body can be easily removed by gastroscopy. Otherwise, you cannot do without operation. And the sooner it is done, the better the chances of a favorable outcome. Remember, the diagnosis alone can last 8-12 hours.
So, if you live together with a cat (or cats) - there should be no place in the house for icicles, tinsel or Christmas streamers.
Petards, salutes, firecrackers and cannonades turn the New Year's Eve into a real battlefield. Shots and explosions of fireworks cause a feeling of intense fear in cats and dogs equally. In panic, without looking at the owner, the animal takes to its heels in a search of the nearest shelter. Often, after such runaway, cats and dogs became completely lost. Accustomed to the home environment and full comfort, but suddenly found themselves on a street, they die. More than 90% of the escaped cats and dogs are unable to find their way home independently. But those who was found, requires a long time to recover. Even staying home, the dogs usually raise barking, start a heartrending howling during the outside firecrackers’ explosion. And regardless the breed, the strongest dogs are frightened by thunder and sudden flashes of light in a same way as less hardy breeds.
In this situation, after consulting the veterinarian, you can resort to sedatives. Only you should avoid picking up and giving them to the dog independently, as there is a risk to "set" the animal "at rest" forever.
Watch the door. Warn your guests about the potential animal's behavior in advance; ask them to watch your pet and the front door too. As an option - you can lock up your cat or dog in a cage or in a fenced off place.
On the holidays’ eve you should take the extreme caution on the street! Hold the dog on a leash, without losing it even for a minute. Attach the nameplate to the collar with the dog's name, your address and phone number. You can simply write your phone number on the collar. This can save your dog if it suddenly breaks out and does not come back.
3. Festive food
The New Year table conceals the danger of the same strength. Attracting by abundance of different smells and flavors, it makes the animals to use any single moments of hosts absent to pull off something delicious.
It is proved that dog’s sense of smell is hundred times stronger than the human olfactory. The dog’s nose contains about 250 million olfactory cells, whereas humans have only 10 million. We can catch a smell only if 500 million molecules will be dispersed in 1 square meter of the air, while a dog can do it with 200 thousand. Consequently, the smell of food from the holiday table will provoke appetite of your pet anywhere in the house. Large dogs have more olfactory receptors in the nose, thus they are affected by a smell even stronger.
Cats are not so notable for the sense of odors, but due to strong claws and agility, they are able to reach the table’s surface and pull down a tidbit much faster than the dogs. Another important fact - animals are skilled cadgers by their ability to stir up a feeling of such tenderness and pity that no guest will be able to resist and refuse sharing every tasty piece of food with the dog or cat. And such recurrent feeding during the evening will lead, as minimum, to overeating. Which are the other dangers associated with the holiday table?
You should remember that under natural conditions predators usually have rather monotonous diet throughout their lives, and this is considered natural. New products can become a cause of severe digestive disorders. You should avoid spicy, salty, fatty foods, fried, smoked, spicy dishes and dishes, seasoned with mayonnaise, as well as sweets (leading to stomach problems) as a fare. Chocolate and products, containing coffee, are absolutely contraindicated for dogs, since chocolate is rich in substances increasing the heart rate and rising the cholesterol level in blood. While dark chocolate is the most dangerous. According to research, a 10-kilogram dog can die after eating 60 grams of dark chocolate or 600 grams of the milk one. Imagine, what would happen to toy breeds. To divert the attention, you can offer your pet treats with chocolate flavor, affordable in price and quality.
However, alcohol is the greatest danger to the animals! As they have very sensitive liver that even small amounts of alcohol can cause serious poisoning, and the alcohol, contained in spirits can cause a sharp drop in temperature and instant death. Experts say - to experience what animal usually feels tasting vodka, try a glass of alcohol on a hungry stomach.
Try to treat your pet with holiday food in advance, cook something tasty, but intended for animals. Pet Shops on a New Year offer a wide range of delicacies for cats and dogs - sugar bones, pastes with a special taste, dry foods everything to please your pet and reduce the risk of eating a junk food from the holiday table!
What to do if you failed to keep an eye on your pet and it is already feeling bad in your eyes? Within the next 1-3 hours you should induce vomiting. Warm cola, poured into the throat, will be appropriate for this, a teaspoon of salt, strewed on the base of the tongue, or white oil, injected into the mouth by a syringe. Thereafter, during the next 2-3 minutes dog or a cat should vomit all out. After vomiting you may give the animal adsorbents or coating medicines in case of ingestion of a solid object. If the general condition will not improve, contact your veterinarian immediately.
4. Relations with the Christmas tree
Unfortunately, the animals’ reaction to the Christmas beauty is unpredictable, therefore, before installing it, take a couple of hours for some precautions.
If you have large funny dog at home, it is highly probable that running past, it will accidentally touch the tree or pulling a branch with its teeth deliberately, your pet will finally overturn it to the floor with a terrible crash. Wherein the fragments of broken Christmas toys can easily dig into the animal’s foot pads. Sometimes such punctured wounds are rather deep. First aid for such cuts – is washing the damaged area with the subsequent applying of compressive bandage. If bleeding is not stopping, you need to apply a rubber strip or bandage tourniquet slightly higher the cut area. And after that immediately contact your veterinarian.
It will be safer if you set a Christmas tree in the corner of the room on a stable, solid footing, where it will be difficult to knock it down. As a rule, the natural fir tree is put into a bucket with water, fixing its trunk with large stones. At the same time its top is attached to the ceiling by fishing line.
Sometimes it happens the dog is showing its interest by gnawing the branches or trunk of the tree. Thus it expresses the natural hunting instinct, sharpening teeth and strengthening jaws. To avoid this, the Christmas tree should be pre-processed by agents with a flavor unpleasant for dogs. It is also recommended to use lemon or orange peel or spices - mustard and black pepper. Alternatively, it is possible to wrap the trunk in a tear-resistant polyethylene, cloth or solid foil. Another way to protect the tree from dog’s attacks – is to install it at a height, unreachable for your pet. For example, you can put the tree on a high stand or cupboard, only if it is not too high. And, of course, the safest option – is to purchase the artificial Christmas tree with a set of unbreakable toys. Such tree will remain intact, even if it will be pushed to the floor several times.
There are also fearful dogs that experience fear at the sight of prickly bushy "creature", which grows stronger at sparkling of the iridescent illumination on the tree.
To reassure your pet, leave the tree on the floor before the installation, allowing the animal to sniff it and explore the unknown "creature", to feel its own superiority. Let the tree to lie down in this position couple of hours. After that, do not rush the installation, allow your pet to adapt and become accustomed to the coming changes.
Apart from trunk and branches, the dogs are highly attracted by a Christmas tree illumination. The short circuit trauma is fraught with oral lesions together with the general effect on the body. The prolonged action (over 10 seconds), which entails deep burns and affection of the central nervous system (up to paralysis) is the most dangerous.
First aid in such situation is to cut off the electricity as soon as possible. Regardless of the severity of burn and condition of your pet, you should bring it to the specialist.
Try to place the Christmas tree near the electrical panel to reduce the length of the electrical wires. Arrange the electric wires above the eye level of the animal, or hide them completely under the special boxes.
Cats, unlike the dogs, prefer to climb up the trees. A lot of “Christmas beauties” were spoiled by swinging kitten or kittens at the very top of the tree. At the same time kittens are often become seriously injured when the tree or its decorations were not fixed properly.
The Christmas tree needles on the floor can cause either minor irritation on the animal paws or serious erosive lesions. In this case, checkup of the pet’s legs, ears and mucous membranes should be done regularly.
To sum up
Are you aware that the doctors in veterinary clinics store a lot of suture material, droppers and other medical supplies for the New Year period, anticipating solid earnings on our carelessness? On the doctor's slang, cats, which swallowed tinsel or icicles’ strands, are called ‘Christmas cats’, animals that have fallen from the balconies – ‘flyers’ and pets with burns are called ‘wounded’ or ‘shot down’. Negligent vets are ready to operate animals "in batches" to earn some money, offering surgery to everyone without discrimination, regardless of the animal general condition! Thus the survival rate after such operations is 50%, i.e. animals die in the half of cases.
Postoperative rehabilitation lasts no less than 2 weeks, when you will need to fatten and feed the animal with milk, butter and all sorts of mashed food from the nipple like a small child, as well as to process the sutures daily. Hard food is contraindicated during this period. Survival in these 2 weeks does not exceed 30%.
Holidays should be planned in advance! If it is possible - send your dog or a cat to your parents, friends, who live in seclusion, without expecting any guests. If you have cats at home - the Christmas tree should be decorated only with big toys; unfortunately icicles’ strands and tinsel are forbidden. Prior to interior decoration, you should accept the temperament of your pet. Every thoughtful owner has contacts of several nearest vets and their timetable during the holidays at hand in a conspicuous place.
Let in the New Year holiday your cat or dog will enjoy the celebration and your favorite company. All you need to do – is to ensure their safety and not to impose things, which give pleasure only you. Is quite possible that such concepts as guests, fireworks and Christmas tree your cat or dog will perceive without interest, so you should not compel them for this. Let your pet give the preference to its own symbol of the New Year celebration!
Happy New Year!