BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - As people get set to enjoy Halloween, the candy and the costumes, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (LSUSVM) wants to remind pet owners to watch out for their four-legged family members.
LSUSVM says a number of Halloween items can be hazardous to your pets.
The school says while people may love chocolate, it's toxic to dogs. They say the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs. LSUSVM says if you think your dog ate chocolate you should watch for vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate and in severe cases, seizures.
The school says raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, if even small amounts are ingested. Signs of raisin or grape poisoning include vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, excessive or decreased thirst and urination, bad breath and rapid onset kidney failure.
LSUSVM says if your dog eats a lot candy, it could lead to pancreatitis, which is potentially fatal. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and is very painful. School officials say signs of pancreatitis may appear several days after ingestion. Pet owners should watch to see if their dog has a decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain and potentially, kidney or organ damage.
Candy wrappers and small toys, if ingested, could cause bowel obstruction and require surgery.
LSUSVM says if you want to dress your pet up for Halloween, just make sure the costume does not impair your pet's vision, hearing, movement or air intake and that it does not have small pieces that could be broken off and ingested. The school also recommends checking with your veterinarian before dying or coloring your pet's fur, as some products can be harmful to pets even if they will not harm people.
LSUSVM says if your pet gets sick or you think it may have eaten something harmful, contact your vet immediately before a serious complication occurs.