Winter hazards: Chocolate, Anti-Freeze and Ice Melt

We would like to take a moment to wish everyone a joyful holiday season! We are so grateful for the wonderful community here in Central Oregon and want to wish you every happiness now and throughout the coming new year.  The winter presents special health concerns for our pets and we would like to call attention to a few of those: chocolate, anti-freeze and ice melt. 

A few tips to keep your furry friends happy and healthy this holiday season…

Chocolate makes a wonderful and delicious gift for your loved ones, but please remember it can be harmful to your pets.  It is advised to keep all gifts of chocolate (and other food items) out of their reach. The amount of chocolate, type of chocolate, and weight of your pet all play a role in the severity of the toxicity.  Please contact Riverside Animal Hospital for treatment recommendations if your pet ingests chocolate.

With the cold weather upon us, so is the use of anti-freeze and ice melt.  Both of these can be harmful your pet if ingested. Anti- freeze can cause acute kidney failure, so please seek immediate treatment if you suspect it has been ingested.  It is always better to err on the side of caution, as ingestion of this chemical can be fatal.  

Ice melt can be very irritating to your pets feet, as well as cause electrolyte imbalances and gastroenteritis if ingested.  If you pets are outside where there is ice melt, please be sure to clean their feet thoroughly after exposure. Cats especially like to groom , so it is very important to wipe their paws.

If you are concerned about your pet ingesting anything potentially toxic please seek immediate veterinary care.  If it is an after-hours emergency, please contact the Animal Emergency Center at

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