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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


Pet Hair, Pet Hair, Everywhere! What can we do to make it go away?

December 4, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 4:14 pm

Pet Hair, Pet Hair, Everywhere!  What can we do to make it go away?

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


If you are a pet owner excess hair is your number one concern.  Just how can my pet loose all that hair in my house and still have hair left on its body?  I have three cats and four dogs, one of which is a black Labrador Retriever that sheds incessantly. My three terriers do not really shed, but the lab makes up for their lack of shedding.  I have white tile floors so it is visible all the time.  So as a small animal veterinarian what do I do to control hair loss in my home.

Continue reading and I will give you my formula for decreasing the volume of hair in your environment!


Brush your pet often. Daily brushing is the best thing you can do to decrease unwanted pet fur in your environment.  Not only are you making you making your pet’s coat softer, cleaner and helping with excess hair, you are bonding with your furry friend.


Feed a high quality pet food. Your pet’s hair coat is the outward sign of their over all health.  Your pet is what it eats.


Control fleas and ticks. Infestation with parasites can cause intense itching, which increases scratching. This leads to damage to the skin and hair follicles. Infection and irritation can occur which will cause hair to fall out.


Keep allergies and skin infection under control.   Scratching increases hair loss. It also can cause a skin infection and cause even more fur loss.


Feed a fatty acid supplement prescribed by your veterinarian.  Fatty acids keep your pets fur healthy by decreasing inflammation and keeping the skin barrier healthy.


Bathe your pet every 1-2 weeks in a moisturizing shampoo.  Keeping your pet’s hair coat shinny and clean makes their skin healthier. Plus they feel better when you pet them.


Cover your furniture and car seats.  Fabric is a magnet for pet hair. This will protect your original coverings and help contain pet hair.


Vacuum often.  I have several cordless vacuums located around my house.  This makes removing unwanted pet fur easy and quick.  I also recommend the robotic vacuums. They get under furniture and get that hidden hair you don’t see. Swiffer sweepers are great fur grabbers also.


Regular check ups with your veterinarian.  This will help insure that your pet is not harboring an underlying disease that can contribute to bad skin and fur loss.  Your veterinarian is also an excellent source for tips on shed prevention.


A healthy pet is a happy pet and that a pet’s hair coat is their sign of good health.

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