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The holidays are upon us and with them stretched schedules (for people and for pets), naughty snacks (a helping of pancreatitis, anyone?), the tempting tang of tinsel (Fluffy was just flossing, she promises), and let’s not forget that animals and children can generally be relied upon to get sick at the most inconvenient of times. They can’t help it. It’s a scientifically proven fact of life. Okay, it isn’t really proven, but we’ve all been there. Emergency trips to the vet can often be avoided, but sometimes we just need to be prepared for the selective hearing of Uncle Mortimer who tosses a turkey wing to your dog despite being asked not to when he arrived.
Here are our tips on how to be prepared for the consequences of wayward family members and the appetizing allure of floral centerpieces to cats the world over.
It’s all about a two-pronged approach: prevent and be prepared anyway.
Whether you’re hosting a big meal or hiring a petsitter so you can travel for the holidays, it’s really important to do a bit of research ahead of time. Your pet’s normal veterinarian can see emergency cases during their business hours. Please try to call, and let them know you are coming, though, so they can prepare for your arrival amid their scheduled appointments for faster treatment. This option comes with two benefits:
After normal business hours or on holidays when most businesses are closed, a 24-hour emergency clinic is your best (and in some cases your only) option. These hospitals are not only prepared for emergencies at all times, they often have specialists available to them. (In the Raleigh area, we recommend VSH for after-hours pet emergencies.)
Be sure to give veterinarians’ names, addresses, and phone numbers to your petsitter or boarding facility. Keep the same info handy for yourself. In an emergency, time is critical.
From the dangers of toxic foods, the risk of intestinal blockages, to possible harm if a pet slips out of a door left open too long by a child—a range of things can happen. Sometimes the emergency is just a matter of an existing medical issue going unnoticed or forgotten and getting worse during all the holiday commotion. It’s easy to miss a dose of an important medication, for example, and end up in trouble.