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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't Share Your Dinner....SERIOUSLY!

My clinic received a big reminder why people should never share their meals with their pets.  Here in the US last Thursday was Thanksgiving.  To you non-Americans, this is an annual holiday in memory of one of the first colonies in the US after they survived a hard winter and gave thanks.  It's a time for getting together with family, being thankful for what we have, and eating lots of food.  Traditionally, the staple of the Thanksgiving meal is turkey, though lots of other things are also served.

Last week a client gave her seven pound yorkie a turkey leg and gravy.  Over the weekend she developed acute pancreatitis and has been in the clinic for the last couple of days.  She's stable, but is in serious condition and is very painful.  Pancreatitis is a common consequence of feeding fatty or rancid food to dogs, and is especially dangerous to small dogs because of their body size.  Most cases of pancreatitis that I have seen are due to people feeding or allowing their dog to eat food that they shouldn't.

I can't emphasize enough....don't feed human food to pets!  Yes, there are plenty of times when dogs and cats eat these foods without consequences.  I grew up feeding table scraps to our dogs (back before I knew better) and they did fine.  However, in over a dozen years in practice I've seen far too many problems after pets have had human food.

Simply put....DON'T DO IT!  Any reward you may get by sharing your meal with your doggie or kitty is not worth the risk of health problems and the subsequent often expensive veterinary visits.

And keep your fingers crossed for this little dog that we're treating.  She's doing okay but is far from being out of the woods.