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Pet safety for Halloween

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When it comes to safety on Halloween night, we shouldn't only think of trick-or-treaters. Keep an eye on your four-legged friends, too, especially man's best friend.

There's a lot of extra candy in most homes this time of year and most dogs love it. But if they get their paws on it, they can get quite sick.

Ooltewah veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Primm says it's like clockwork that she sees a few extra clients.

"I can pretty much count on it. We watch the calendar. It's just going to happen," says Primm.

Chocolate's the main culprit.

Primm says some people don't know that the caffeine and theobromine in most chocolates are poisonous to dogs and can turn your Halloween festivities into a trip to the vet.

"Most of the milk chocolate and white chocolate that you find this time of year makes them vomit," explains Primm. "But if they eat enough of it, it can also cause cardiac side effects."

She says in some cases, depending on the type and amount of chocolate that's wolfed down and the weight of the dog, certain amounts can be deadly.

Alexa Kruszewski's 3-year-old Yorkie, Rosco, recently and secretly nibbled away the last few bites of a chocolate bar left on a snack table at home. Typical symptoms didn't show for a couple days.

"And he wasn't eating. He wasn't drinking," recalls Kruszewski. "I felt bad for him because I could tell he was in pain."

After an I.V. treatment at Dr. Primm's office and a weekend of multiple medications, Rosco returned to normal. But it could've been worse for the four-pound pooch. Alexa, who's 12 years old and helped train and raise Rosco, was relieved.

"We were pretty relieved because he's our dog," states Kriszewski while cuddling Rosco. "We didn't want him to die."

So keep your Halloween candy well out of reach.

Another problem is that many pets escape and get lost among the commotion of doorbells ringing and doors opening often. Dr. Primm's common sense approach--when you hand out treats, step outside and close the door.

"Maybe even restrain the pets to where they can't access an open door," adds Primm.

Primm suggest having your pet micro-chipped in case it gets lost.

Also keep glow sticks away from dogs because they often bite into them. While they might not get sick, the liquid inside can make them foam at the mouth as if they have rabies. Lastly, Primm says cats don't have much of a sweet tooth, so they rarely try to get at chocolates and candy.
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