The Fourth of July is upon us and with it come a few special precautions regarding the health and well-being of our pets. Having served over 10 years as an emergency room veterinarian, I’ve weathered many 4th of July weekend shifts and treated many a mishap related to this holiday. Here’s a list of the most common ones we see:
Vomiting, diarrhea, and/or pancreatitis due to dietary indiscretion. I’ve seen a $3 bag of Fritos lead to a $700 veterinary bill. How to prevent: Be sure your guests don’t slip Fido a piece of barbecue off the grill or allow him to snack on the chips and guacamole at your 4th of July get-together.
Intestinal perforations secondary to being fed rib bones. BBQ ribs may be a July 4th tradition, but so are emergency GI surgeries in vet clinics across the country because of left-over bones. How to prevent: Don’t do it!
Cuts, lacerations, self-trauma, and burns related to fireworks. I’ve seen dogs run through plate glass windows out of sheer terror; I’ve seen others grab fizzling bottle rockets in their mouths out of sheer curiosity. How to prevent: If fireworks are planned, keep your pet indoors, preferably in a safe, back room with lots of white noise (television, radio, etc.) to mask the sound of the explosions.
Hit by car injuries. These are either related to yard escapes and dashes across busy roads caused by the fear of fireworks or by visitors leaving the yard gate open when coming or going from the festivities. How to prevent: See 3) above. Also, make sure all gates remains secure.
Keep your pet safe this Independence Day. After all, you want to spend the holiday weekend with your friends and family, not sitting in a waiting room at your friendly neighborhood emergency pet clinic worrying about your four-legged friend and racking up a sizable vet bill.
Source: Dr. Pinney’s Newsletter for June 27, 2015