The following news release was compiled by L.A. Animal Services for release in November.
L.A. Animal Services reminds pet owners that although Thanksgiving is a time for sharing, it is unhealthy to share holiday meal leftovers with companion animals.
“Veterinarians experience an increased number of office calls due to digestive problems after the holidays because humans invite their animals to celebrate with high fat meals (ham, gravy, turkey skin), chocolates, bones, etc.,” warned Casandria Smith, L.A. Animal Services chief veterinarian.
“Turkey bones are hollow and can easily break and splinter into sharp pieces, causing blockage and perforation of the intestinal tract. A pet who has a turkey bone lodged in the digestive system may not exhibit any symptoms for one or two days. However, when they do occur, symptoms include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting or diarrhea,” Dr. Smith added.
Dr. Lila Miller of the ASPCA adds: “Know your pet’s temperament. If lots of people are coming over and your pet is not used to parties and lots of noise or is food aggressive, consider placing, them in a quiet part of the house until the guests leave. Conversely, if your pet is a party animal and loves to mix and mingle, be sure to ask your guests not to slip them table scraps or treats without permission.”
Companion animals who are given leftover turkey to eat can also suffer from salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella is an organism that lives in the turkey’s intestinal tract. Meat that sits out at room temperature for too long can cause salmonella organisms to multiply and cause contamination. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, a high temperature, loss of appetite and listlessness.
Consult a veterinarian immediately should a companion animal exhibit any symptoms for salmonella poisoning or turkey bone ingestion.
It is also important for animal caregivers who will be out of town for the holidays to make arrangements for the care of their companion animals by providing food, water, appropriate care and a secure environment.
“In providing for our companion animals, it is equally important to make sure they wear proper identification. Licensing our dogs, for example, greatly increases the chances of reuniting a lost pet with its owner,” reminds L.A. Animal Services General Manager Dan Knapp.
For information or assistance, look in the yellow pages under animal shelter, SPCA, humane society or animal protection league. City of Los Angeles residents can reach their nearest Animal Care and Control Center by calling 1-888-4LA-PET1 or 1-888-452-7381 (TTY Hearing Impaired: 877-875-8205). Consult your veterinarian for medical advice.
L.A. Animal Services houses and cares for some 70,000 lost and abandoned animals annually, enforces animal-related laws and acts to prevent cruelty to animals.
City of Los Angeles Animal Services
419 South Spring Street, 14th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90013