Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

October Newsletter

The NO-NO food list

Halloween!  Are you planning on dressing up your pets this year, perhaps taking them trick-or-treating?  Sounds like a lot of fun, and weíd love to see them at the clinic in their costumes if you have time to stop by.

During this festive time of year, one thing we at Stolley Park Veterinary Hospital hope you remember is that while costumes are fun, the candy that accompanies trick-or-treating can be unhealthy.  In addition to candy, there are several foods that can be downright dangerous for our four-legged friends.

Our pets do not digest certain foods the way we humans do.  So this October, we would like to provide you with a list of items that arenít safe for our animals.  In honor of Halloween, number one on that list is chocolate.  There are two substances in chocolate that can cause serious problems in a dog, caffeine and theobromine.  Due to both of these substances, signs of chocolate toxicity include excitement, increased heart rate, increased respiration, vomiting, and sometimes seizures.  Severity of chocolate toxicity depends on the type of chocolate and amount per pound ingested.  For example, a milk chocolate M&M wonít cause any damage to a Great Dane, but a piece of dark chocolate fudge could be fatal to a Yorkie.  If you think your dog has ingested a dangerous amount of chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If your Halloween candy contains artificial sweeteners, it is important to avoid a specific sweetener known as xylitol.  Xylitol, present in certain gums and candies, has been linked to severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which can cause seizures.

There are a few other foods that you might not be aware cause problems for your pet.  In recent years, it has been discovered that grapes and raisins can cause serious illness in your dog.  Grapes and raisins have been linked to severe acute kidney failure in some dogs, and ingestion has been known to be fatal. 

Onions and garlic have also been known to be dangerous to our pets.  Ingestion of onions or garlic can lead to a condition called Heinz-body anemia, in which the red blood cells in the body will start to rupture.  This can be fatal as well.  It is important to remember that foods containing onions and garlic can also be dangerous.

Macadamia nuts contain an unidentified toxin that can cause muscle tremors, weakness, vomiting, depression and increased temperature.  Usually symptoms will resolve in 2 days, but too many nuts can cause severe shock and death.

Fatty foods can cause painful inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and obesity.

Hopefully this list isnít putting a damper on your holiday fun.  There are a few treats that are safe, including popcorn and cheerios, so as long as you avoid the items on the list, your dog can participate in the festivities as well.  Enjoy your Halloween, and donít forget to stop by if you have a good costume to share!