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  • Writer's pictureLiving Grace Canine Ranch

Let’s Not Be a Christmas ER Statistic

According to nationwide pet emergency hospitals, veterinarians see a 372% increase in emergency pet visits every Christmas Eve compared to other holidays. This is the season of good news, here’s ours: Most, if not all, holiday ER visits are preventable.


Below are the top four reasons for holiday-related emergencies.


Gastritis/Enteritis: Severely upset stomach/intestines, with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes this happens because a pet helps himself to holiday goodies.


Canines are clever. Left unsupervised, it wouldn’t surprise us if Texas and brother Bandit could figure out how to open the refrigerator door and enjoy the staff’s vegan meal for eight. Then again, there is Lily, a thirteen-year life veteran with dementia and a hound’s nose to counter surf in under twenty seconds.


Prevention: Ask visitors not to give food to your pets without permission, and block pets from helping themselves by keeping food out of reach.


Images: Texas, Age 10 & Brother Bandit, Age 8. 'The Boys’ transferred from a West Texas Humane Society outdoor facility. One-hundred-pound dogs are a shelter challenge, both in space and lack of adoption appeal. After seven days, the brothers were to be euthanized, a typical rural practice for overcrowding. Today, they harmonize baritone voices while guarding our milking goats.

On 12 December 2020, an 11-year-old lab-coonhound mix was one of the first rehome residents. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (dementia) is progressive and can be disruptive to a family home environment, mainly if resource aggression raises its hackles. Routine, nutrition and enrichment activities help Lily to enjoy her life journey.


Lacerations or Bite Wounds: Do you think you don’t get along with your brother-in-law? Is your aunt a little hard to listen to after spiked eggnog? Some families fight like cats and dogs, so is it any surprise that forcing pets to hang out together can also be a contentious experience?


Prevention: While it can be hard to say no to someone who asks to bring a pet to your home for Christmas, it’s wise to consider doing so if it will upset your dog or cat. Another option is separation. Closed doors or crates can prevent territorial pet disputes from ending in the E.R.


Soft Tissue Trauma: A broad range of calamity incidents recorded in hospital chart notes. It can be a dog hit by a car after a guest leaves the front door open or even a dog with “weekend warrior” syndrome after bored grandkids engage him in an exhausting all-day game of fetch.


Prevention: Keep eyeing your pets and guests to prevent unsafe interactions. Remember, it goes both ways: If your dog trips grandmother, you’re just as likely to be running to the human E.R. as the pet one.


Foreign Body Ingestion: You name it, and there’s a pet who will eat it. That’s true of holiday gifts, décor, and even things you might usually put out of reach, but guests might not be as mindful, such as an open handbag with sugarless breath mints and medications.


Prevention: Preventive measures depend on you, your pet, and your holiday plans.

Christmas is a time of Joy for all, but sitting in a pet emergency is not joyful for you or your companion. We can celebrate without becoming a Christmas vet statistic by thinking about prevention.


Merry Christmas and a Healthy Companion New Year from our pack to yours.


About Living Grace Canine Ranch

A 501(c )(3) organization with one Texas-sized mission: Save, serve and value the life experiences of adoption-disadvantaged senior dogs. All rural roads lead to LGCR’s Central Texas sanctuary for the diseased, oppressed, discouraged, and dying.


Regardless of the challenge, by way of LGCR’s medical program, a 24-hour caregiving staff, and dedicated volunteers, ‘old dogs’ discover new reasons to enjoy life. Where Love Resides is more than a motto, it’s an experience. We invite you to visit our video channel and experience silver-tipped tails twirling, knowing ‘At last, I am forever home and loved.’





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