July 4th marks the anniversary of America’s independence. Animal Medical Center wants you to have fun but remember that your pets may not love all the celebrations.
As dog and cat lovers we look forward to celebrating the longer summer days but please remember with this summer holiday how hazardous this holiday can be to our pets.
Thankfully, most pet guardians are aware of the potential dangers of fireworks. That said, accidents happen, and if a pet is left unattended around fireworks, he can become accidentally poisoned or injured. More commonly, pets develop severe anxiety from the noise of fireworks, which can result in undue stress or even the accidental escape out of the house (in an attempt to run away from the sound).Why are fireworks harmful to pets?
Fireworks contain hazardous chemicals such as coloring agents, dangerous heavy metals, sulfur and oxidizing agents such as potassium nitrate. Many of them contain dense cardboard also, which can result in a problem (e.g., foreign body obstruction). If fireworks are accidentally ingested, they can cause gastrointestinal upset in your dog (cats rarely ingest fireworks, thanks to their discriminating palate!).
Clinical signs of firework poisoning include:
- Painful abdomen
- Bloody diarrhea
- Lack of defecation
- Breathing harder
- Neurologic signs (e.g., tremors, seizures)
- Kidney injury
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes)
- Bone marrow changes
Depending on what type of firework your pet ingested – and how many he got into – the clinical signs can vary in severity.Another risk of fireworks? Thermal injury.
If your dog is exposed to lit fireworks, it can cause burns to the face, lips, nose, eyelids/eyes or inside of the mouth. Always keep your pet far out of reach of lit fireworks!
Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns prior to having any of the above emergencies.
Animal Medical Center of the Lowcountry 843-524-0198
Animal Medical Center West 843-525-6655.