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Barbies, fireworks and dogs don't mix on Australia Day

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Barbies, fireworks and dogs don't mix on Australia Day 25/01/2016

Dogs may be our best friends, but you’ll do them no favours by sharing a BBQ treat with them this Australia Day, according to Lort Smith Animal Hospital.

Dr Russell Harrison, Head of Hospital Services at Lort Smith, said Australia Day was often followed by a spike in patients at the hospital with complications from sharing unsuitable food with their humans.

“Dogs can’t digest fatty meats properly so they can end up with gastro-enteritis and possibly pancreatitis,” said Dr Harrison.

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed, disrupting the flow of enzymes into the digestive tract and forcing them into the abdominal area where they begin to break down fat and proteins in the pancreas and other organs. In effect, the body begins to digest itself and the condition becomes serious, or fatal, quickly.

“Cooked bones are another hazard,” said Dr Harrison, “as they tend to splinter and can become lodged in the throat or gut."

“We also see quite a few dogs that have eaten kebab sticks, and these can cause considerable damage to the dog’s digestive tract.”

Dr Harrison said that Australia Day fireworks were another potential hazard for dogs.

“After fireworks we often treat dogs with injuries sustained as a result of the pet panicking and trying to escape the sound of the fireworks. Unofficial fireworks also make it hard for owners to predict when their pets will be affected."

“We have treated dogs hit by cars, others with lacerations from jumping over fences and even a dog that broke its jaw trying to escape through a security door following the fireworks.”

“To be on the safe side, if you have to leave your pet home alone during fireworks, you might should shut the windows and turning on the TV or radio to provide some calming white noise."

“And of course make sure your pet is microchipped so that if he or she does escape, you will be reunited more quickly,” said Dr Harrison.

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For an interview, photo or filming opportunity on Monday January 25, please contact Ellen Sproule, 0407 367 215 or 9321 7214 or esproule@lortsmith.com

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