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What you need to know about COVID-19 today
Halloween is obviously being re-imagined this week thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the key messaging being keep everyone safe, including beloved family pets.
We’re pretty sure many homes are already stockpiled with innocent little chocolate bites and candy-coated raisins, but keep in mind they can wreak havoc on your dog or cat if they ingest even one bite of a Halloween treat. In some cases, even death.
According to Trupanion , a leading national medical insurance company for cats and dogs, chocolate poisoning is one of the biggest areas of concern for pets. The company recently scanned its database of more than 530,000 pets and found that “historically there is a noticeable increase in chocolate toxicity claims beginning now, through the end of the year,” said company officials in a recently released statement warning of the effects of Halloween candy on beloved family pets.
These Halloween toxicity claims are costly in more ways than one, especially when seeing a much loved furry friend in the throes of suffering after ingesting some errant piece of candy. Trupanion notes toxicity treatments can range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
According to the ASPCA website , precautions must be taken now until early November, or until there are no more Halloween treats for pets to hunt throughout the home.
Both the ASPCA and Trupanion warn of the dangers of chocolate in all forms — especially dark or baking chocolate — as well as raisins and any sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute Xylitol, which can cause extremely serious medical crisis for pets and in a sense, pet owners who do not want to see their animals suffer.
“Chocolate contains a naturally occurring stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine,” said Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion, in a recently released statement. “If enough theobromine is ingested it can be toxic to dogs and cats.”
Pet owners should be diligent to these signs of chocolate toxicity including diarrhea, vomiting, diarrhea, an elevated heart rate and even seizures. Darker chocolate is more dangerous, because it contains higher concentrations of theobromine. It should also be noted chocolate is extremely dangerous in smaller pets because they don’t have to ingest as much as a bigger dog to cause lasting damage.
As for Xylitol, it can cause devastating damage in the form of seizures, collapse and low blood pressure.
“If you think your dog or cat has ingested Halloween candy, immediately contact your veterinarian,” cautions Dr. Nold in a recent statement.
The ASPCA also warns against decorations (they look delicious to many pets!), candles inside pumpkins, and pet costumes. You may love seeing Fido dressed a big bumblebee or a favourite superhero, but the costume may be restricting movement, or making the animal anxious.
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