I’m Maranda Elswick: veterinarian and former fat kid. As a recovering chocoholic, I know a thing or two about elastic waistbands and candy. Despite my excitement over the approaching Halloween holiday season, I know to keep my fun-sized chocolate bars to myself rather than sharing with my dog and cat friends. Every vet has had similar patients rushed into the animal hospital after each treat-packed holiday (be it Halloween, Hanukkah or Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Easter)… all with the same GI signs of vomiting and diarrhea induced by accidental chocolate ingestion. It’s no coincidence that chocolate kisses and the poop emoji are nearly the same shape!
Methylxanthine toxicity from chocolate consumption leads not only to gastrointestinal upset in dogs and cats but also hyper behavior, muscle tremors, elevated body temperature, and even possible heart arrhythmias and seizures in some pets. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain higher amounts of toxins, but keep all chocolates well out of your slobbering pet’s reach this Halloween to avoid a trip to the vet. Steer clear of most sugar-free goodies too as many contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can cause dangerously low blood sugar and liver dysfunction if consumed by your pet.
Best stick to other pet-safe forms of “trick-or-treating” for your furry friends this time of year! Even then, remain mindful of the amount of treats and extra food that your doggie or kitty companion is awarded. Extra calories can quickly wreak havoc on your pet’s waistline. Pet obesity is a growing (no pun intended!) problem in the U.S. and can lead to a plethora of health problems ranging from orthopedic injury and osteoarthritis, spinal disc disease, diabetes mellitus, urinary tract disorders, liver disease, and cardiac complications. If your pooch or purring feline have a few lbs to shed, speak with your veterinarian about safe methods to promote weight loss and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.
Your local vet’s office should be your first pit-stop if you’re concerned about your dog or cat’s health or behavior. GI issues are especially common in pets and can be attributed to a multitude of health concerns, some of which may be life-threatening. For instance, intestinal worms can cause tummy upset and other ailments, so ask your vet if a stool analysis and deworming is necessary for your pet. Pro·Sense® has a great line of over-the-counter Dewormer Solutions for Roundworm Treatment in cats and kittens as well as dogs and puppies. For the management of not only roundworms but also hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms in canines, check out Safe-Guard® 3 Day Treatments by Pro·Sense®. Chronic vomiting may also be a sign of pesky hairballs irritating your kitty’s GI tract. Pro·Sense® Hairball Solutions is a convenient oral paste in a salmon flavor that helps reduce hairballs with regular use. Ask your vet which of these easy-to-use products by Pro·Sense® is right for your pet today!
- Maranda Elswick, DVM – The Meowing Vet (www.themeowingvet.com)
Dr. Elswick was compensated by Pro·Sense® brand for writing this blog post.