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Autumn fruits and pet poisoning

Last week we received an urgent call.

Milo the three month old cockerpoo puppy had been stung in the mouth by a bee.

The receptionist invited him down at once, even though we were fully booked. It was lucky that his owner saw what happened, and was able to whisk him down to us, so that he was soon on the mend.

At this fruitful time of year, many of us are outside enjoying the golden autumn days.

Pets may be tempted to investigate autumnal fruits, especially youngsters.

But rotting fallen fruit will attract wasps and bees, creating a bit of a hazard for the babies in the family.

Also, moulds can grow on these windfalls. Mycotoxins from these may upset a pet’s stomach.

It is worth clearing the windfalls in your garden as often as you can.

Other fruits can be a problem of themselves. Some pets will try eating a whole acorn or even a conker. These can cause an intestinal obstruction that might require an operation to remove them.

Even a plum stone can create an obstruction if the pet is very small, or if a larger pet eats too many. If your pet succeeds in biting into a cherry or plum stone this could be fatal as they contain the poison cyanide.

Some of the berries that we see ripening in the hedgerows are not suitable for pets to eat. These include dogwood, cherry laurel and rowan.

I often hear of dogs blackberrying with their owners, and I imagine that they can easily distinguish between a blackberry and another kind of fruit, with their incredible canine sense of smell. But youngsters might make a mistake, so keep a close eye on what exactly they are up to whilst you are filling up your bag for crumble later.

Don’t forget to enter your favourite portrait of your pet into our 2021 calendar competition.

Entry is free. The deadline is 16th Oct. Your pet might win the accolade of being our cover star, plus some yummy prizes.

Our gorgeous pet-filled 2021 calendars will be sold in aid of Pets As Therapy from early December.

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