Holiday Hazards in Vail Valley Pet

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Holiday Hazards in Vail Valley Pet

The holiday season is upon us! This is an exciting time of year for friends and family to get together, to exchange gifts and celebrate the New Year!

Unfortunately, the holiday season becomes a very busy time for emergency veterinarians such as myself as there is an increase in the amount of hazards our unknowing pets are exposed to at this time of year!

This year, we hope to help you pet owners be proactive about protecting your pet from a trip to the Vet ER~

Common Holiday hazards for pets include:

  • Ribbons! Ribbons , though beautiful to look at on gifts, can be very dangerous, especially for our curious feline friends. Cats love to play with ribbon and within a moment’s notice, the ribbon can be ingested and result in what we call a “linear foreign body” resulting in a life threatening situation most likely leading to surgical intervention!
  • Poinsettias Plants! Though these are the “plants of the season,” and are beautiful decorations on our holiday tables, these plants pose yet another problem to curious felines who love to chew on their leaves. Though these plants get a bad “rap” as being toxic, they do not result in death but can cause vomiting, drooling and genuine discomfort for your feline friends.
  • Chocolate: We all love to give Chocolate as gifts for the holiday season which often end up wrapped up under the tree.  Chocolate contains Theobromine which can, at large doses, lead to seizures and death in your pets. The darker the chocolate and the more volume consumed, the more toxic this is to your pets. So put that chocolate up high and away from your pets!
  • Lillies , found in holiday flower arrangements, can be deadly to cats. Lillies can quickly cause kidney failure and are deadly in cats.
  • Mistletoe, a common part of our holiday festivities, can also be toxic to your pets. At higher doses, it can be toxic to the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). More commonly, it causes Gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Medications, such as Advil, though great to have for us after a long day on the mountain, can be highly hazardous to our pets. Advil, at large doses , can result in kidney failure, and at lower doses, can cause severe gastrointestinal upsets. Whether human or pet medications, these medications should be kept high and away from unknowing pets!
  • Ice melt: With the increase in snow fall and the freeze, come icy sidewalks and an increase in the amount of ice melt we utilize. Ice melt can be very irritating to the skin and mouth of our pets, resulting in excessive drooling, depression and vomiting after they have licked their paws just after walking in it.
  • Rat poison: with an influx of folks from out of town to our wonderful valley, many stay in time-shares or short term rentals that an unknowing owner has left D-con to keep the rodent population to a minimum. Be aware that rat poison is highly toxic to your pets and should not ever be where your pet can get into it.


We wish all our Vail Valley Pet owners a healthy, safe holiday season !

See you next year!




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