How to look after your pets over Christmas

Fri, 16 Dec 2005

Last Christmas PetAid hospitals and the PDSA reported that peculiar items were found in the stomachs of some pets. Vets are hoping there won’t be a repeat of the strange finds this year and that owners keep an eye on what their pets are ingesting.

The strange items found in the tummies of some animals ranged from part of a table leg, a spoon, bones and a cork. Hospitals also carried out operations to remove squeaky bones, spare ribs, tinsel, turkey bones, a dummy teat, foam padding and a corn on the cob core.

Elaine Pendlebury, a veterinary surgeon said, "We treated over 10,000 pets during the festive period last year and it’s fair to say that foreign bodies form a major part of our vet’s work over this time."

A leaflet called Pet Safety Indoors is available from the PDSA. Pet owners are urged to obtain a copy to prevent more cases of pets ingesting non-food items.

The message is for pet owners to keep an eye on their pets all year round and not just at Christmas time. Elaine adds, "Every year PDSA sees many household related injuries to animals that could have been prevented such as burns, electrocution and poisoning from chemicals and plants.

"One particular danger area is electrical household appliances. It’s not unheard of for curious cats to curls up inside the drum of a tumble dryer or washing machine, which could be disastrous if the appliance is unknowingly switched on.

"The same goes for cookers and hobs. The smell of meat being cooked will always be a temptation for cats and dogs and the warmth from the hob can be enticing."

The pet safety leaflet is from a range of leaflets called Responsible Pet Care produced by the PDSA. The leaflets cover a range of topics covering First Aid, Diet and Nutrition and Neutering.

Copies of the leaflets can be obtained from PDSA PetAid hospitals and the PDSA charity shops around the country.

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