Pet owners have been issued an alarming warning about the potentially fatal consequences of feeding dogs common holiday leftovers.
High fat food like Christmas ham may be enjoyable for humans to indulge in over the festive season, but it can cause pancreatitis in dogs and end up killing them, Dr Naomi Lessels, a vet at Brisbane Water Vet clinic on the NSW Central Coast, has cautioned.
“Pancreatitis is something vets unfortunately deal with frequently at Christmas time because of the leftovers being fed to dogs,” Dr Lessels told Yahoo News Australia.
Each holiday season, Dr Lessels said between five to 10 dogs are delivered to her vet clinic to be treated for pancreatitis, and not all of them are able to be saved.
“I would be surprised if a vet clinic didn’t see a dog with pancreatitis over the festive season,” Dr Lessels said.
She explained that while the majority of dogs survived, some were already critically ill by the time they were brought in, which decreases the likelihood of them being able to recover.
As well as ham, food that should never be passed to dogs include fatty off-cuts from steaks, sausages, meat pies, sausage rolls and chocolate.
“Grapes and sultanas can cause kidney failure in dogs. And of course don’t give dogs the leftover chicken or beef skewers to chomp on,” Dr Lessels said.
“If people have to give something then a small piece of chicken or turkey breast cooked only and with no skin or bones.”
Dr Lessels shared photos of vials containing the spun blood of a dog that recently died from pancreatitis, showing a thick layer of white liquid sitting on top.
She explained the substance on top would normally be clear in a healthy dog.
Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, salivating, depression and abdominal pain, Dr Lessels said.
She urged dog owners to urgently seek advice from a vet if their pet falls ill with such symptoms.
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