Latest Posts

Why Are Veterinarians Fascinated with Pets FECES

February 19, 2018 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:56 pm


Why Are Veterinarians Fascinated with Pets FECES



Whether your veterinarian calls it a “fecal sample” or “stool specimen”, pet owners often wonder why their animal doctors have such a fascination with poop.  As it turns out, checking your pets’ feces just might keep the people in your family from getting seriously sick.


Why does your veterinarian have such an interest in your pet’s stool?


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that 3,000 to 4,000 human serum samples are sent to their labs every year with a presumptive diagnosis of toxocariasis, or, infection with roundworms or hookworms.   What is known is that 36% of dogs across the country and 52% in the southeastern states carry worms.  Many pet owners are unaware that their furry family members are capable of harboring these parasites.


Pets can come into contact with these parasites in the yard, in potting soil, at the dog park or even on our hands or feet after we come inside from working in the garden or after taking a walk.  The larva and eggs of these parasites are simply abundant in many places.


Most people understand that veterinarians are checking fecals as a means to find intestinal parasites, more commonly known as “worms”. The veterinarian is not looking for whole adult parasites.  They are looking for microscopic eggs and protozoans that may inhabit your pet.


First, the feces are mixed with a sugar or salt solution.  Breaking up the stool allows any infective eggs to enter the solution.

After about 10 minutes, the suspension is then allowed to sit with a microscope coverslip placed on top.  The eggs and most parasites will float to the top and adhere to the coverslip.   A veterinary assistant can then take this sample and review it under a microscope.  Any positive specimens are discussed with the veterinarian and an appropriate deworming medication can be prescribed.


This process may not sound appetizing to most readers, but these tests are an important part of a veterinarian’s dedication to your pets, but also to public health as a whole.  The CDC, the Companion Animal Parasite Council and the American Animal Hospital Association all recommend regular fecal testing for all pets.




Dr. Norette L. Underwood is the veterinarian at Trumann Animal Clinic. You may contact her with questions at


Help Doc, My Pet is dragging its rear on the floor!

February 12, 2018 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 9:08 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Help Doc, My Pet is dragging its rear on the floor!


Does your cat or dog drag their booty on the floor or rug? We call this “Boot Scootin.” Owners wonder, “What causes my pet to do that?”


Your pet has two opening on each side of their rectum. If you pretend their rectum is a clock they are located at 4 and 8 o’clock.  These openings come from anal glands.  Anal glands are 2 small glands (also called anal sacs) located inside the anal opening of all dogs and cats. These glands normally release a small amount of a foul-smelling liquid every time your pet goes to the bathroom.  This liquid gives each pet its individual scent. This is why pets always smell each other’s rear.


What causes anal gland problems?

Whenever the anal glands become blocked, over-filled, or inflamed it causes discomfort for your pet and can lead to further problems. Common reason why your pet may be experiencing anal gland problems include soft or loose stools, digestive issues, allergies, infection, obesity, poor anatomy or a combination of these things.


What are the signs of anal gland problems?


The most common sign seen is scooting their rear on the floor or carpet.  They also may lick excessively, strain to defecate, release a sudden foul odor, show pain or discomfort of the hind end, or bleeding or swelling near the anal area.  Some pets may chew the top of their tail or tuck their tail between their legs.  In cats signs may include defecating outside the litter box.


When should I be concerned?

If your pet is experiencing any signs of anal gland problems, you should consult with your veterinarian immediately.  Anal gland problems left untreated can develop into further problems including an infection or abscess. It could also be early signs of some form of cancer.  If the glands are just full your veterinarian will empty them and help you develop a plan to keep them irritation free.


What can be done to prevent anal gland problems?

There is a new product that can be sprinkled on your pet’s food or given as a treat.  It is important to feed your pet a consistent high-quality diet free from excessive fillers.  Keeping your pet at their ideal weight will help.  Your veterinarian can help resolve any underlying causes of your pet’s anal gland problems such as allergies or digestive issues.  In some severe cases, the anal glands may need to be surgically removed.


If you have problems with your pet and anal glands you may contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Best Friends Vet Mobile Service or Trumann Animal Clinic at or 870-483-6275.

What’s Wrong With My Cat’s Mouth?

February 6, 2018 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 5:20 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

What’s Wrong With My Cat’s Mouth?



Many cat owners look at the grace, athleticism and beauty of their pets and think that they have the “perfect” animal.  Unfortunately, many of these same cats will have a very “imperfect” mouth, due to a serious and very painful condition that causes teeth to resorb, dissolve and even break!   Here’s what we know about Tooth Resorption in cats.


Ask any cat owner about how they care for their feline’s teeth and most will reply that “he eats dry food” or, more commonly “I really don’t clean her teeth”.  While most veterinarians will acknowledge that brushing a cat’s teeth is a challenge for many owners, they will stress the importance of routine oral assessment of your cat’s mouth.  These exams help find preventable problems and even some very concerning issues.  One of those concerns we are seeing more frequently is called Feline Tooth Resorption.


Tooth Resorption, or “TR” as it is commonly called, is a condition seen in a growing percentage of cats over the age of six years. The same strange condition is also seen in dogs and in people, but it is not nearly as common.


In the past, this disease has been called “neck lesions”, “cervical line lesions” and even the cumbersome “Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORLs)”.  Whatever the name, we know that this condition is seen in cats who often appear normal.  The process will continue to develop, causing extreme pain because of the exposure of the root canal.  This can even lead to behavior changes and lack of normal appetite.



Clinically, most cats will appear normal, but observant owners may note that their cat prefers to chew food on just one side or that the cat stops grooming.  They may “toss” dry food into the back of their mouth.   As TR progresses, some pets will even develop sullen or aggressive attitudes, as if they are mad at the world!


Eventually, your veterinarian may point out how some of your cat’s cheek teeth are showing lines of inflamed, fleshy material right near the base of the tooth.  At this point, the erosion has exposed the tooth to the bacteria of the mouth and this is when affected cats become extremely painful.  Even under a general anesthetic, a slight touch of these teeth will cause a cat to “chatter” their jaw, indicating very serious pain!


Dental x-rays are the only way to diagnose TR.  When the radiographs are taken, if TR is present, your veterinarian can see changes in the density of the roots and crowns of the teeth.  All teeth can be affected, but the major “signal” tooth is the first one in the lower jaw.  Some teeth can be partially affected, while others may have completely dissolved away leaving a “ghost image”.


Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment that can save the pet’s teeth.  A normal cleaning and polishing will not work! A tooth that is showing any signs of resorption needs to be extracted.  Some cats will need full mouth extractions.  All cats with a known history of TR should be x-rayed every six months to a year. It is likely other teeth are affected and they must be monitored.


The good news in all of this is that once your veterinarian knows about the disease, several things can be done to keep your cat comfortable.  Experience has shown that cats who were once not eating well or even aggressive will often have a positive behavior change in just a matter of weeks.  It is surprising how the removal of these painful teeth can often bring back your affectionate feline friend.


Owners are often unaware that their pets are experiencing such discomfort.  But, regular visits to your veterinarian can help identify the issue and start work that will make your cat feel better.  Contact your veterinarian to have a comprehensive oral examination for your pet, including dental x-rays and regular dental cleanings.




If you have questions about your cat’s mouth contact Dr. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

How to Help Keep your Pet’s Breath Fresh and Teeth Clean!

January 29, 2018 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 9:53 pm

Pet Talk

How to Help Keep your Pet’s Breath Fresh and Teeth Clean!

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


February is Pet Dental Health Month and keeping your furry friends choppers in perfect health is any veterinarian’s goal.  The first steping is learning how to brush your pet’s teeth.


Brushing is the ideal way to keep your pet’s mouth clean.  There are tips to brushing your pet’s teeth.  The key to being able to brush your pet’s teeth is making it fun.  You must be upbeat and very patient.  One key is to try to brush teeth after they have had a playtime.  Be sure and have lots of praise available.


  1. You need to get your pet used to having things put in their mouth. You can dip your finger in some peanut butter, baby food or a chicken or beef flavored toothpaste.  Let them lick it off your finger for several days. Then slowly try inserting your finger under their lips and let them lick.  You do not need to try to open your pet’s mouth. Just slip your finger up under the gums.  Then after several days of this, with toothpaste on your finger, try rubbing the outside of the teeth in a gentle circular motion. By this time your pet should be looking forward to its daily session.


  1. There are different types of tooth brushs, pads and other mouth care products to select from. Do not use one of your old toothbrushes or ever share your brush with your pet. Look for a toothbrush specifically designed for dogs and cats. Bigger dogs need a bigger brush than a smaller dog or cat. Finger brushes are great because they fit over your finger and make it very easy to get up under the lips. Be sure to use a toothpaste specifically designed for dogs or cats. Human toothpaste contains fluoride that can be toxic and has a foaming agent that is meant not to be swallowed.  Some also contain Xylitol and surgar that cn harm your pet. There are also dental pads available for cleaning.


  1. I find starting with a finger brush the easiest. Let your pet smell and lick the brush to help make acceptance easier.  Put the finger brush on your index finger. Apply a small amount of dog toothpaste. Then gently insert under the lip and just do the upper canine teeth (the large teeth in front).  These are easy to get to. Be sure and make this fun letting them taste the paste. Be sure they get lots of praise.


  1. After they readily accept this it is time to move on to doing the entire mouth. Always insert your cleaning instrument gently under the lips and let your finger or brush gently rub the outside of the teeth in a circular motion. If using a long handled brush make it an extension of your index finger. Reaching the back teeth may take time for your pet to accept. Just be slow and take your time. It is not necessary to do the inside of the teeth. The action of the tongue helps keep them clean.


  1. Other methods of keeping the teeth clean include different chew toys. There are many toys designed for dental care. They can help keep soft tartar from accumulating and massage the gums. They also help with boredom. Chew toys should be made of rawhide, nylon and rubber, preferably the ones recommended by your veterinarian. Really hard toys may crack your pets teeth.


  1. Many food companies offer a food that helps keep teeth clean. Hill’s Science Diet has T/D food that works great for treats. It has a special action that helps remove tartar.  This food is available only through your veterinarian.


  1. Keeping your pets mouth happy helps increase their life span and make them not have bad breath. Be sure and see your veterinarian for yearly dental exams.  If you have questions about dental care email Dr. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at  or call 870-483-6275 #wearethebest

Laundry Detergent Pods Cause Harm in Pets Too

January 22, 2018 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:09 pm

   Laundry Detergent Pods Cause Harm in Pets Too

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood



We all love laundry pods because of their ease of use.  Pets love them too. Dogs think they are chew toys and cats like to bat them around like a hockey puck.

Most soaps and detergents contain chemicals called ionic and anionic surfactants. Regular laundry detergent is not as highly concentrated as a pod. When your pet ingests regular detergent it is more dilute and they can quickly get rid of the taste by licking and drooling. Laundry pods are very highly concentrated and cause much more irritation to your pet’s mouth. They may paw at their mouth excessively and drool profusely.

However, a new danger seems to be presenting. It was first noticed that young children were developing serious respiratory issues after biting into the highly concentrated, pre-packaged laundry detergent pods (some that look like candy and come in brightly colored packages).

Not surprisingly, Pet Poison Helpline has noticed some severe clinical signs in dogs and cats exposed to these pods as well. They have reported vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, wheezing, or other respiratory irritation.

The reason for the increased severity of signs in pets exposed to laundry pods is thought to be due to the way the product is formulated in the pod. When a pet bites into a pod, the product is both highly concentrated and under pressure from the bite. When the pod is punctured, the detergents are forcefully expelled in the mouth and may be easily aspirated or swallowed in large amounts. The ingestion of multiple packets may run a risk for a foreign body obstruction and erosive lesions from prolonged contact in the gut.

When these exposures occur, it is important to dilute the exposed site as much as possible—rinse the mouth, skin, or eyes until the slick, “soapy” feel is gone. If your pet exhibits persistent vomiting or respiratory signs a veterinarian should immediately evaluate them. There is no antidote for laundry pod exposure. Your attending veterinarian should treat any of the clinical signs with symptomatic and supportive care.


If you have questions about your pet contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at or 870-483-6275.

Beware: Essential Oils can be very Harmful to Your Pets!

January 16, 2018 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:19 pm

Pet Talk

Beware: Essential Oils can be very Harmful to Your Pets!

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


I found this wonderful article by Natural News on essential oils and your pet.  As Aromatherapy is becoming more widely accepted in the mainstream, more people are using essential oils at home. Unfortunately, as some people are finding out, this is not always having a positive affect on the animals in their lives.


There have been many reports of animals harmed, even dying, from essential oils. Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia, has received a bad rap lately, most likely stemming from the fact that it is so widely available. Well meaning owners have used this oil to treat dermatological afflictions such as bites and scratches, only to end up at the veterinarian’s office with an animal exhibiting signs of toxicity, such as ataxia, in-coordination, weakness, tremors, vomiting or depression.


Misinformation is an enormous problem in this area as well. As an increasing amount of people turn to a more natural approach at life, companies are jumping to cash in. Thousands of products include essential oils in their ingredients; pet products are no different. The average person, unaware of the dangers, can easily think these products would be completely safe when in fact they are not.


Many products for cats also contain essential oils. Unfortunately for the cats, many cat owners are unaware that by using these products, they can slowly cause toxins to build up in the feline’s system, causing a slow onset of organ failure. A cat’s liver cannot process toxins as a human’s or even a dog’s can. The chemical constituents of the oils, such as terpenes, phenols, and ketones, are no exception. The effects of these can be immediate in showing up, or can take years.


Birds are well known for being sensitive to scents and particles in the air, and essential oils are no different. Gillian Willis, a toxicologist in Vancouver, has seen many cases of avian poisoning, including a well-meaning cockatiel owner who, upon seeing an abrasion on her bird’s foot, applied a drop of Tea Tree oil. The bird became depressed and even with veterinary intervention, died within 24 hours of respiratory failure. Even diffusing oils around a bird can produce dire consequences.


Not All Is Lost


While this may all seem daunting to an animal lover who also enjoys the benefits of aromatics, all is certainly not lost. A little knowledge can go a long way while incorporating essential oils in and around your animals.


Choosing Essential Oils:

Purity can be an issue when it comes to essential oils (EO’s). Due to the expense, many essential oils are diluted in other substances.  When you are choosing essential oils to use therapeutically for yourself and your pets, you want only the purest available. To determine this, there are a few key things to look for:


* EO’s should not be oily or leave a greasy residue.


* Packaging should include the common name (Lavender), the Latin binomial (Lavandula angustifolia), the country of origin, the method of distillation, the part of the plant used, lot number, amount of oil in bottle, contact information of the company, how the plant was grown, and the words “100% pure essential oil” or the ingredients, if in a carrier or blend.


* Price usually dictates quality.


* Not all bottles of the same size yet of different oils should be priced the same. In other words, if they carry 50 different types of oils, yet every 5ml bottle is $7.40, there is something wrong, and you can guarantee these oils have been adulterated in some way.


Using Quality Oils in Homes With Pets:


Once you have your essential oils and are satisfied with the quality, the task then becomes using them correctly.  Remember, just because a product is natural, does not mean it is safe.


There are some essential oils that should never be used for animals: Anise, Clove Leaf/Bud, Garlic, Horseradish, Juniper, Thyme, Wintergreen, or Yarrow, to name a few.


For dogs, essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, from bathing to calming the nerves through diffusion. Some points to remember:


* Dogs cannot tell you what is or is not working. As such, you must closely watch their reactions. Excessive scratching, sniffing, nervousness or whining are signs to watch for.


* Giving essential oils internally is not generally recommended.


* Gradually introduce the oils.


* What is good for a large dog is not good for a small dog. Size matters, and less is definitely more when working with oils, for animals or humans.


* Never use oils near the eyes, mouth, nose, or genital area.


Felines are especially sensitive. Even dispersing oils or cleaning agents around the house can be detrimental. Make sure that the cat has a way to go into another room, with fresh air to ‘escape’. Oils should never be used topically because of their liver’s inability to process them.


Birds should never be exposed to oils, whether topically or in the air due to their extreme sensitivity.


Fish cannot tolerate oils or floral waters. The oils, not being water-soluble, would end up sticking to the fish, causing a host of problems, up to and many times, including death. Hydrosols each have their own pH levels, and have the possibility of wreaking havoc on the pH levels within the tank, also causing harm to the fish.


An animal lover’s best bet, for the sake of their pet, would be to educate themselves even further. One must be cautioned about searching the net, however, as misinformation is everywhere. Be sure to check the credentials of the writer before following the advice of any site. There are a few good books on the subject, one of my favorites, and the reference for this article, is Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell.


Learn more:

Puppy Tips

January 1, 2018 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:00 am

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

Puppy Tips

We love our dogs like we love our children, so of course many of us remember our puppies’ “firsts.” Their first toy, the first time they responded to their name, the first time they “went” outside…all have a place in our hearts.

Puppies don’t stay puppies for long, but in their short time as the little bundles of joy we fell in love with, they experience many changes. For this reason, a puppy’s first few months with you will build the foundation of their health and behavior throughout their lives.

It pays to be prepared for these many important firsts. Are you? Here are some firsts you and your puppy will probably experience and my recommendations for how to deal with them.

First teeth: Your puppy will inevitably experience teething as their adult teeth develop. This process makes their gums hurt and makes them want to bite and chew to relieve the pain. To help your puppy during his teething process, provide him with a suitable toy to chew on. If you want to encourage your puppy to chew on this toy, you can smear a tiny bit of peanut butter on it. If the weather is warm enough, you can also provide ice or crushed ice for your puppy to chew on once in a while. The hard surface is great for crunching on, and the cold will numb the puppy’s gums, easing the discomfort temporarily.

First biting: With teething often comes hand biting! Puppies may also bite to play or to get your attention. The very first few times that your puppy bites you, no matter how lightly or playfully he does it, it’s important to react correctly. If a puppy is not deterred from biting when he’s young it becomes more difficult to prevent biting as he gets older. When a puppy bites you, try discouraging the behavior by yelping loudly and withdraw – which is how the puppy’s siblings would react to let the puppy know if he bit too hard during playtime. If your puppy does not stop biting, stop playing with him immediately and do not pay attention to him for several minutes. This teaches him that biting means “playtime is over,” and no puppy wants that!

First learned command: You want your puppy to be well-behaved, so you should begin training as soon as possible. But which command to teach first? “Sit” and “down” are two of the easiest commands to teach and they are good to learn. However, I also recommend that everyone teach their puppy the commands “come” and “stay” before that. These two commands can be important for your puppy’s safety. If your puppy were to get away from you, you need to be able to call him to you or tell him to stay and wait where he is so you can retrieve him safely.

First food: What do you feed your puppy? The right food will make all the difference in your puppy’s health and well-being because it paves the way for a healthy, happy life. It should be food made specifically for puppies (adult dogs need a different set of nutrients and minerals.

I hope some of these tips help you and your puppy – especially if a puppy is a first for you. Give your puppy the right start and your puppy will grow up healthy, strong, and happy.


If you have questions about raising your new puppy contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile at

5 Tips for Helping Your Cat Exercise

December 24, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 10:35 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


5 Tips for Helping Your Cat Exercise

  1. Make sure kitty has things to climb on, like a multi-level cat tree or tower.
  2. Invest in a laser toy, either an inexpensive one, or something a bit more sophisticated like the Frolicat™ line.
  3. Choose toys and activities that appeal to your cat’s hunting instinct. Neko fly toys are on a wand with an interchangeable toy end. You can put feathers, flys, strings, etc for fun for your cat.
  4. Don’t overlook old standbys, like dragging a piece of string across the floor in view of your cat. Ping-pong balls are another oldie but goodie, along with bits of paper rolled into balls, and any light object that can be made to move fast and in unexpected ways.
  5. I also recommend walking your cat in nice weather using a harness. This gets him out into the fresh air, stimulates his senses and gets his paws in direct contact with the ground. An alternative is a safe, fully enclosed porch or patio area that prevents your cat from getting out and other animals from getting in.


If you have questions about exercising your cat please contact Dr Norette at

Barnie Moe’s Letter to Santa

December 18, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:35 pm

Pet Talk

By dr. Norette L. Underwood


Barnie Moe’s Letter to Santa


This week my adoptive rescue from 2 years ago” Barnie Moe” wanted me to write a letter to Santa not only for him but for all dogs and cats.  He thought pet parents needed guidance on what their furry children really wanted for Christmas and every day as far as that goes.


Dear Santa Paws:


  • I would really like to have Love and lots of petting daily for me and my brother and sisters. Opie, Lucy and Gracie Rose.
  • Healthy treats daily to keep me full of energy between meals. Especially those treats my momma brings home from her veterinary clinic.
  • Make sure the couch has soft beds and warm blankets for us to rest and snuggle on.
  • Keep my fur clean and tangle free. I have lots of fur especially on my feet and those mats in between my toes can sure be painful. Don’t forget to clean the sleep out of my eyes daily.
  • Play with me daily. Lucy, my older sister the lab, loves to fetch toys and bumpers. When you throw for her it is so much fun for us to run and chase her. Like our short legs can catch this long-legged creature.
  • Let me curl up in a lap while you and dad watch TV.
  • Keep the blinds up all day so I can survey my Kingdom. I like to make sure no trespassers such as cars, squirrels, birds, and other dogs don’t invade my space.
  • Don’t fuss when I bark incessantly at anything that moves outside.
  • Teach me to be obedient and mannered so others will love me too.
  • Teach me to go to the bathroom in my designated area.

Genetic testing is a great way to see who my ancestors could be. My mom did this for me. She has info on how others can test their dogs to see what breeds they are.

  • Keep my Toy Basket full of toys that I can squeak, toss and rip to pieces.
  • Santa please make sure that all the less fortunate dogs and cats are safe and warm this Holiday Season.
  • Please donate or adopt from a group that helps unwanted and lost pets receive love and care. Instead of getting me so many toys take some of that money and help some less fortunate pets.
  • Last but not least, I want Officer Corey to know how thankful I am that he brought me to Trumann Animal Clinic. I was so tiny. His kind heart would not let me go into a run with bigger dogs. Animal Nurse Tarsha who took me in just knowing that my momma Dr. Underwood would just had to have me. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful home where I am loved and cared for daily. I wish that all homeless dogs and cats could have a wonderful life like me.
  • Santa please help everyone to please find it in their heart to make a donation to the animal Charity of their choice to help others have a Happy Loving Home like me.


Thank You Santa,

Love Barnie Moe

Holiday Hazards in Your Home

December 11, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:08 pm


Pet Talk

Holiday Hazards in your Home!

By Norette L. Underwood, DVM



Holiday decorations such as snow globes or bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals. If your pet chews on them the liquid inside could be could be dangerous to their health.  Pets being the curious creatures that they are, love to play with anything dangling.  They will eat plastic and glass balls.


If you own a cat, forgo the tinsel. What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can prove deadly if ingested. Tinsel does not pose a poisoning risk but can cause severe damage to a cat’s intestinal tract if swallowed.


Though they have a bad rap, poinsettia plants are only mildly toxic. Far more worrisome are holiday bouquets containing lilies, holly or mistletoe. Lilies, are the most dangerous plants for cats.  Other yuletide pants such as holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets and can cause gastrointestinal upset and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.


Because alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, it affects pets quickly. Be careful with drinks and foods containing alcohol.


With the holiday season comes a delightful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it is not wise (and in some cases is quite dangerous) to share these treats with your pets. Keep your pet on his or her regular diet over the holidays and do not let family and friends sneak in treats. Foods that can present problems:

  • Foods containing grapes, raisins and currants (such as fruitcakes) can result in kidney failure in dogs.
  • Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
  • Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a sweetener which is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.

Leftover, fatty meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) leading to abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.


Recently, imported snow globes were found to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol.) As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze when ingested by a cat or a tablespoon or two for a dog (depending on their size), can be fatal. Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy.  Immediate treatment with an antidote is vital.


Filling your house with the smell of nutmeg or pine for the holidays may seem inviting—but if you’re partial to heating your scented oils in a simmer pot, know that they can cause serious harm to your cat; even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Dogs aren’t as sensitive, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry—so scent your home with a non-toxic candle kept safely out of kitty’s reach.


If you have questions about holiday hazards and your pet contact Dr. Norette L Underwood of Best Friends Vet Mobile Service and Trumann Animal Clinic at

#wearethebest #veterinarianintrumann #veterinariannearharrisburg #veterinariannearjonesboro