From snacking on human treats to biting colorful light bulbs, as the winter holiday season draws closer, remind pet owners that they must keep a watchful eye on their four-legged friends. In 2011, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) policyholders spent more than $22.8 million on medical conditions commonly associated with the holidays. The company recently sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the 10 most common holiday-related medical conditions last year. Here are the results:
1. Gastritis (vomiting): ingesting “people” food, holiday plants (lilies, hollies and mistletoe) and Christmas tree water
2. Enteritis (diarrhea): eating “people” food and scraps
3. Colitis (loose or bloody stool): eating “people” food; holiday stress
4. Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas): eating fatty “people” food such as roasts, gravy, nuts, egg nog, etc.
5. Gastric foreign body (foreign object in the stomach): ingesting Christmas tree decorations, ribbon, small gifts, and bones from holiday meats
6. Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (bloody vomiting and diarrhea): eating people food; holiday stress
7. Intestinal foreign body (foreign object in the intestines): ingesting tinsel, other Christmas tree decorations, and bones from holiday meats
8. Gastric foreign body, surgical (surgical removal of foreign object from the stomach): unable to pass Christmas tree decorations and bones
9. Intestinal foreign body, surgical (surgical removal of foreign object from the intestines): unable to pass tinsel, ribbons, or bone fragments
10. Methylaxanthine toxicity (chocolate toxicity): eating chocolate or other caffeinated products. In order to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for the entire family, protect our four-legged family members from these potential holiday dangers.