News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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News from the
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
October 25, 2011

Release on
Contact: Chris Beuoy

Protect Pets from Halloween Hazards, Advises U of I Veterinarian

URBANA - Black cats and other critters, beware! Halloween candies and other traditions of the season pose some hazards that pet owners should watch out for. Dr. Kandi Norrell, primary care veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, offers several tips:

  • Chocolate: Chocolate, a Halloween favorite, contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs, cats, and birds. In sufficient quantities, chocolate can cause heart failure and/or respiratory failure. Chocolate poisoning requires emergency medical treatment.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in many candies and baked goods, is deadly to dogs. It causes profound hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, and liver failure. Seek veterinary help immediately if your dog may have ingested it.
  • Black cats: Dr. Norrell advises keeping black cats indoors before and after Halloween, with concerns that some groups prey on black cats at this time of year.
  • Open doors: With trick-or-treaters coming and going, make sure pets don't slip out an open door amid the excitement. Keep Fido and Fluffy safely in a crate or interior room.
  • Get help: If your pet does get sick, consult your veterinarian right away. The emergency service at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital takes any case at any time. Come to 1008 W. Hazelwood Dr., Urbana, or call 217/333-5300.