Christmas is a particularly busy time of year at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control
Center, and the five items below account for the majority of holiday calls.

This tasty treat is hands-down the winner for most calls at Christmas
(Halloween and Valentine’s Day don’t even come close). Why?
Usually it’s because of wrapped chocolate gifts left under the
tree. And often a pet has shredded wrapping paper to get to
the treat, thus destroying the chance to learn exactly what ingredients
have been ingested. Also, with the growing popularity
of higher cocoa content, it takes even less candy to get our
four-legged friends into a world of trouble. To test your treatment
strategy, check out this chocolate ingestion case study.

What is generally seen is mild gastrointestinal upset. However, if there is bacterial
contamination, the potential for gastrointestinal upset can be more significant.
Treatment plan? Dilute, monitor at home and move on. Read about some
more holiday ingestion worries.

Poinsettias are primarily mucous-membrane irritants – and
despite the worry they cause pet owners, the plants aren’t
usually too dangerous if treated properly. Check out our
poinsettia ingestion treatment article.

Guests. Winter colds. Kids home from school. This trifecta of
medication dangers calls for caution. Add the fact that worried pet owners generally
can’t remember how much medicine was actually in that little baggie that
the pup ate, and you can just feel a headache coming on. Any and all medications
need to be stored up high or in a locked cabinet. Check out our five tips to
avoid improper pet medication exposures.

Yes, some days we feel like going home and having a stiff drink
after dealing with all those chocolate cases. However, right now
we are talking about the little Chihuahua who likes to scale the
couch and help herself to the owner’s eggnog. The good news:
Pets usually vomit alcohol after ingestion. The bad news: Alcohol
is absorbed quickly

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