Bad Timing: Vet misadventures at Xmas

Like the tragedy of grandpa throwing a clot while carving the turkey, pets suffer their fair share of Christmas holiday misadventures. Don’t be shy about calling the afterhours vet; half the time they’re looking for an excuse to escape the family anyway.


Christmas Hazards:

  • Xmas Food – easily the most frequent problems are those of dietary indiscretion. After feasting on leftovers or upturned garbage bin, dogs often suffer gastro upsets due to sudden change in diet.  Ranging from simple indigestion and constipation, through to complications of chocolate intoxication, pancreatitis and obstructive foreign bodies, vomiting dogs are a familiar, Boxing day presentation to the emergency vet.
  • The trauma of pissed play. The footy kicked into dog’s head, stepped-on kitten, or cricket bat twack to leg bone: pets often get caught in the crossfire when excited kids, backyard sport, and alcohol mix. When all your mates bring their dogs visiting, the ensuing pack-fight over a food scrap may put one poor mongrel in hospital. The sudden excitement of all this stimulation may rouse, usually sedentary, geriatrics to exceed athletic limits, leaving them crippled by aggravated arthritis, for days.
  • Holiday travel sees more dogs on the road, interacting with foreign animals and environments. Highly contagious, kennel cough is readily picked-up in any social encounter, even on the beach. Startled dogs in unfamiliar territory may take flight, only to be hit by a car. While the apartment dog may collect a hitchhiker  tick after visiting coastal bushland. House guests may stress out kitty sufficiently to make her pee blood.
  • New Years Eve festivities may provoke pets, all over the suburb, to simultaneously decide to jump fence and do-a-runner in fright at midnight fireworks, adding extra obstacles for the half-tanked revelers on their way home.  The party refuse may contain it’s own cocktail of recreational drug hazards.
  • The diseases of peak summer: heat stroke, acute ear and skin problems, tick and snake poisonings. In the Northern hemisphere, winter Christmas may see a spike in hospital admissions for anti-freeze poisoning and hypothermia.
  • And finally there’s random events, which just unluckily coincide with Xmas, such as bleeding tumour, heart failure, blockage on urinary stone or ceasarian section. Karin was lucky her lactating bitch’s tummy upset didn’t land her in hospital with hypocalcaemia.


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