Autumn Pet Dangers & Conditions

The leaves are beginning to turn colors, there’s a chill in the air — Fall is finally here! So turn up the heater, gather everyone around the fireplace, and enjoy the season. But please keep these autumn pet hazards in mind . . .

Fallen Fruit: Apples, apricots, plums and other fruits have pits or seeds that can cause intestinal irritation or blockage. If eaten, rotting fruit can also cause gastroenteritis.

Anti-freeze: Anti-freeze is often used in our vehicles. Please keep it out of your pet’s reach. Even a tablespoon of this green liquid can cause kidney failure. Its sweet taste can be awfully tempting to your furry companion. If your pet has ingested anti-freeze, please contact your veterinarian immediately for emergency treatment.

Rodenticides: Rat/Mouse poison can be poisonous to your cat or dog too! Rodenticides are very palatable and can be very appealing to the fuzzy critters we actually want in our homes. Please keep these poisons out of reach of your pets. If ingestion does occur, contact your veterinarian immediately. It’s also helpful to bring the poison package with you so the amount that was ingested and the ingredients of the poison can be determined.

Mouse Traps: Sticky mousetraps may seem harmless to your pets, but they can cause injury to paws, tails and those cute little faces.

Cold Weather: Dropping temperatures can be just as dangerous and soaring temps. Most pets are not suited for extended periods of cold weather. If you do leave your pet outdoors in the cold make sure they have shelter, insulation such as straw or blankets to trap body heat, and access to fresh water (check often to make sure it’s not frozen). Don’t use space heaters or electric blankets, they can be hazardous!

Arthritis: The colder weather is harder on our joints, and your pet’s joints too! With our warm summers and colder winters, arthritis can be more seasonal. If you notice your pet moving a little slower, limping, or whimpering when he moves, make an appointment with your veterinarian to help make him more comfortable.

Allergies: Blooming weeds and dust can cause your pet to excessively chew, bite and scratch. Watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, hives and rashes are also common symptoms of allergies. As we turn our heaters on, dust and dry air can also cause skin and upper respiratory irritation. Please consult a veterinarian if your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms.


— Janni Kimble, Riverwoods Pet Hospital

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