Christmas food poisons Rex!


Christmas treats

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, other than the family dog. Rex crept paw by paw to the ridiculous indoor tree encrusted with glittery stuff the family had erected – very odd behaviour for the humans. Underneath he could smell a delicious array of treats that MUST have been left out just for him. Otherwise, why would they be in such easy reach? Inconveniently they had been wrapped in silly paper and some cardboard and plastic but some dexterous use of tooth and paw solved this problem and he enjoyed a delicious meal of plum pudding, chocolate, dried fruit and nuts. Fabulous!

The next day the humans were inexplicably cranky with him despite his obviously superior skills at unwrapping the treats they had left out for him! He decided the silly antlers they strapped to his head were his punishment so he wore them with good grace. Throughout the day their mood seemed to soften and they gave him scraps of ham, bits of prawn, some more cake and some rather nice chocolate covered macadamia nuts that he managed to convince one of the little kids to give him. Rex fell asleep a happy and full dog.


However, come Boxing Day, all was not well with Rex. He felt TERRIBLE! He vomited again and again and could not face his morning kibble. His gut was twisted in terrible knots and he kept rushing out into the yard to poo awful diarrhoea. Eventually it got so bad he lost control and passed diarrhoea in the laundry! Appalling! He had not done that since he was a pup. All he could do was lie down in a miserable heap on the floor and look up at the humans with pleading eyes.

Later that day, Rex was taken to the vet. The vet had to decide which of the many Christmas disasters Rex was suffering from – Macadamia intoxication, chocolate intoxication, grape/sultana/raisin poisoning, pancreatitis, a foreign body such as the wooden skewer from the prawn kebab he’d eaten, or just plain old over indulgence. Later that day, after bloods tests, an ultrasound, X-Rays and intravenous fluids and quite a bit of cost, Rex was lucky enough to be given a diagnosis of gross Christmas over indulgence! A few days of bland food and strict rest saw him better. He was a VERY lucky dog and lived to enjoy many more Christmases but on a doggie only diet!

Sadly, this tale of Christmas woe is seen by vets all too often! Dogs do NOT understand what they should and should not eat and the generosity and spirit of Christmas is really wasted on them! There are some common and very hazardous foods to be aware of around this time of the year.

Christmas food problems:-

  • chocolate toxicity
  • macadamia nut poisoning
  • sultana or grape poisoning – hidden in cakes, biscuits and the plum pudding
  • pancreatitis – often set off by a high fat meal
  • foreign bodies – just because your dog can swallow it, it does not mean it can get out the other end!

Christmas is a wonderful time of year full of family and fun and festivity and its important to include your fur family in this but make sure you keep them safe. Doggy Christmas presents like some nice, tasty but bland and easily digestible chicken breast meat may be better than the left over ham bone. Make sure they are not eating things they shouldn’t be and remember; human food by and large is not appropriate for dogs. Stick to dog treats in limited amounts. It’s OK to make him wear silly hats and antlers though, because that’s pretty cute!