Animal Clinic of Warren, PA.

162 Washington Valley Road Ext
Warren, NJ 07059


Holiday Pet Toxins

Tips for keeping your pets safe this holiday season

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   The holiday season is a time for celebration but with the curiosity of cats, it can become a time of trouble as they wander thru the house checking out all the new decorations.  Some things to watch out for are: artificial snow, snow spray, snow flock, Styrofoam, icicles and angel hair as they are all toxic to cats.  (Angel hair is considered to be a low toxicity but it can irritate eyes, skin and the gastrointestinal tract.   String, ribbon or tinsel if swallowed has the potential to cause painful intestinal problems.  Cats also have a knack for chewing on light cords, especially if they are frayed.  This can cause shock or burns.  Plants pose a danger as well: Poinsettia leaves and stems, holly berries and the leaves and mistletoe are all toxic.  So remember to keep these plants out of harm's way during the holiday season!

Toxic Plants and Holiday Products                    

Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets. What follows is a general guide. Please consult us, animal poison control, and the manufacturer for specifics. Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the better for your pet!

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Low toxicity
-- poinsettia leaves/stems; balsam/pine/cedar/fir; angel hair (spun glass); Christmas tree preservatives; snow sprays/snow flock; tree ornaments; super glue; styrofoam; icicles (tinsel); and crayons/paints.

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-- fireplace colors/salts; plastic model cement Moderate to high toxicity holly berries and leaves; bubbling lights (methylene chloride); snow scenes (may contain salmonella); aftershaves/perfumes/alcoholic beverages; and chocolate (dark is more toxic than milk).

No DescriptionHighly toxic -- mistletoe (especially berries); expoxy adhesives; and antifreeze. Please note that some items have special problems. For example, whereas angel hair is usually considered to be of low toxicity, it can irritate eyes, skin, and the gastrointestinal tract; the content of Christmas tree preservatives varies and often effects depend upon the amount ingested; styrofoam, small parts from Christmas tree ornaments and toys, as well as tinsel, can cause mechanical obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract; snow flock can cause problems if sprayed into the mouth and inhaled; and chocolate, of any type, should never be given to a pet.