Pets and BBQs

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - News - with Felic­ity Miller BVSc, Vet­eri­nar­ian

THE hol­i­day sea­son is a great time to en­joy the warm weather, long days, time with fam­ily and friends and a bar­be­cue.

Our four legged friends of­ten reap the re­wards of these bar­be­cues or gath­er­ings with left­overs, but be wary of giv­ing into puppy dog (or cat!) eyes, and re­mem­ber not ev­ery­thing we eat is safe for pets.

Sausages and other bar­be­cue meats are full of fat which can lead to pan­cre­ati­tis in dogs.

The pan­creas is an or­gan that re­leases en­zymes and hor­mones aid­ing in di­ges­tion of food.

High fat meals can lead to the pan­creas be­com­ing in­flamed and cause ab­dom­i­nal pain, lethargy, vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea and anorexia, which is po­ten­tially life threat­en­ing.

For the same rea­son, avoid throw­ing the clean­ings off the bar­be­cue where a dog could find it.

Left over Christ­mas ham may also cause gas­troin­testi­nal is­sues so should also be avoided or given in very small amounts.

Many peo­ple choose to feed bones, how­ever cooked bones eas­ily splin­ter when chewed and these sharp shards of bone can punc­ture the gut and re­quire surgery and in­ten­sive care to treat.

Sim­i­larly, corn cobs are some­times swal­lowed whole and can block the gut com­pletely, re­quir­ing surgery to re­move.

Hun­gry dogs will find food in things you wouldn’t think pos­si­ble in­clud­ing empty meat trays and meat tray ab­sorbency pads, used ke­bab sticks, and post bar­be­cue garbage bins - so keep ev­ery­thing well locked up.

What’s a sausage with­out onions on top?

Onions may be de­li­cious, but in our dogs they dam­age the red blood cells which pro­vide oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to the body’s cells.

This causes clin­i­cal signs in­clud­ing pale gums, in­creased heart and res­pi­ra­tion rate, lethargy and de­pres­sion, and se­vere tox­i­c­ity can re­quire a blood trans­fu­sion.

A com­mon ac­com­pa­ni­ment for a bar­be­cue is a nice cold drink.

Al­co­hol is a def­i­nite no for pets, is rapidly ab­sorbed and causes neu­ro­log­i­cal signs such as dif­fi­culty walk­ing, se­da­tion, de­creased men­ta­tion and de­creased body tem­per­a­ture. In high doses it can be fa­tal. Ethanol, the toxic com­po­nent in al­co­holic bev­er­ages, is also found in un­cooked bread dough and rot­ten ap­ples, so for those who make their own bread, make sure the dough is well out of reach of hun­gry an­i­mals!

En­joy your sum­mer and the silly sea­son, but re­mem­ber to save the treats for your­self.

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