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Veterinary Hospital Warns Pet Owners of Potential Holiday Perils


October 27, 2011 - Richmond Heights, OH

Richman Animal Clinic is urging pet owners to show caution this holiday season and be aware of potential pet health risks surrounding the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays. These risks include holiday-favorite foods, like chocolate candy, turkey bones and stuffing. The veterinarians warn pet owners to keep pets secure when trick-or-treaters visit, and to show common sense when dressing pets up for Halloween. In the event of a holiday health emergency, the veterinary hospital is urging pet owners to seek immediate medical treatment.

Richmond Heights veterinarians are cautioning pet owners to be vigilant during the holiday season, warning of potential dangers to pets' health and safety.

The animal clinic veterinarians encourage pet owners to use common sense when dressing pets up for Halloween. Costumes should not constrict an animal's movement or have loose pieces that could be a choking or tripping hazard.

"Halloween and Thanksgiving are wonderful holidays to celebrate, but many of our traditions can pose a health risk for dogs and cats," said Dr. Jeffery Richman, a veterinarian and the founder of Richman Animal Clinic. "Both holidays revolve around sharing meals and treats, and many of these food items are harmful to pets, and can even be fatal."

Chocolate, a common ingredient in many Halloween candies and some Thanksgiving treats, is poisonous to both cats and dogs, and an overdose can prove fatal. Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and deadly heart rhythm disturbances. Depending on the size of the cat or dog, a few Halloween candy bars or even a little bit of pure Baker's chocolate can send a pet straight to the emergency veterinary hospital.

Dr. Richman urged pet owners not to leave Halloween candy out unattended where pets could easily find it. He also encouraged pet owners to speak to their children about the dangers of Halloween candy consumption.

"We've seen cases where the children simply did not realize how dangerous it was to feed a pet chocolate," said Dr. Richman. "Feeding a dog who is begging with those sad puppy eyes may seem harmless, but the effects can be truly devastating for the dog's health."

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner items can also be harmful to dogs and cats if ingested. These items include stuffing, which contains onions and garlic, as well as turkey meat, alcohol, raisins and currants. According to Dr. Richman, dogs should never be given real turkey or ham bones to chew on because of the risk that splintered bone bits may puncture the intestines.

The animal vet clinic is encouraging pet owners to keep house guests to a minimum, or to put pets in another room during a holiday party.

"Even if your pet behaves well with friends and strangers during the year, a constant stream of visitors stopping by your house or a big family gathering for Thanksgiving dinner can be stressful for your pet," said Dr. Richman. "With all the new faces and excitement, your pet may need a little extra reassurance. Sometimes, it's best to place your pet in another room during a party. After all, the last thing you want to do is end up in the emergency room because your pet became ill after eating food from a party guest."

The animal vet clinic serves the Richmond Heights, Highland Heights, Euclid, Lyndhurst, Beachwood, Gates Mills communities. The Lake County communities the clinic serves are Wickliffe, Willowick, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, Kirtland, Eastlake and Mentor. More information about Richman Animal Clinic can be found on their website http://richmananimalclinic.net.

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Richman Animal Clinic
Richmond Heights, OH
1-888-667-5235

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