With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we're posting this little reminder to keep pets away from "people food" and leftover trash - a good recommendation for any time of year! Turkey carcasses are occasionally dug out of the trash by pets, many of whom will then eat everything remaining, bones and all. This is serious because bones can cause choking or internal injury when ingested. Eating the bones and leftover meat can also cause severe stomach upset or pancreatitis (this goes for ham and other bones, too). Pancreatitis is the inflammation and/or infection of the pancreas which is the digestive organ. In response to a relatively high fat meal like table scraps, leftovers, meat left on bones, marrow in bones, etc., the pancreas over-secretes digestive enzymes. These enzymes then “digest” and irritate the pancreas and surrounding tissues such as the intestines and liver. Life-threatening complications can arise, so prompt treatment is essential. Signs of pancreatitis can include vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, lethargy, depression, weakness, and belly pain. The best way to address this problem is is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Do not allow your pet access to table scraps or garbage. If signs of illness are noted, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. Also be aware that if you are cooking with onions and garlic, these are toxic to dogs and cats – they can cause breakdown of red blood cells and fatal anemia. Rhubarb and grapes or raisins can cause fatal kidney failure and ingesting raw bread dough may lead to stomach bloat or alcohol poisoning (due to the fermentation process), both of which can be fatal. We hope this information will help keep your pets happy and healthy and that you have much to be thankful for this season and always.