Christmas leftovers making our pets sick

Pet owners are being urged to think twice before offering their animals any rich Christmas Day leftovers this holiday season.

Dr Paul Partland, of Cannon and Ball Veterinary Surgeons, said vets often see an increase in incidents of certain diseases and conditions in cats and dogs over the Christmas period, gastro-intestinal related diseases in particular.

"Pancreatitis can be associated with particular breeds, but it can also be associated with being fed high fat foods," Dr Partland said.

"While everyone enjoys a barbecue this time of year, or hoeing down on the ham, pork and prawns, they are not always a great idea for our pets."

Dr Partland said pancreatitis can be induced by foods such as oily fish - particularly the skin - or sausages and other foods with a high fat content such as the rind off the pork.

"Gastric-torsion is always a medical emergency; it results in a bloated appearance to the stomach and lots of salivation and it can be induced particularly in deep-chested breeds such as Doberman and setters by over-gorging on food."

Dr Partland said he had also witnessed a few unusual cases over the Christmas period, due to the pets getting stuck into the extra "foreign bodies" that can be found around the house.

"We've had cats eat string and some of the obvious ones in dogs are bones, tennis balls and jewellery - even a diamond ring. Yes, the owners were happy to see the diamond ring again," he laughed.

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