Protect your puppy during Hanukkah

Question: We recently adopted Reena, a curious and lively 6 month old puppy. Please advise us on how to keep her safe during her first Hanukkah when our young children will want her to participate in the festivities.

A: During the eight nights of Hanukkah, the festival of lights, as you light your menorah candles to celebrate the miracle that a one-day supply of sacred oil lasted for eight days, keep Reena’s nose and tail away. flames. You don’t want her to burn her fur or knock over a candle and start a fire.

Foods cooked in oil, such as latkes and donuts, are a favorite part of Chanukah, but they should only be shared with members of the human family. Their high fat content can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and painful pancreatitis in dogs, and the onions in latkes are toxic to dogs. So, remind your kids that Reena can only eat her own puppy food.

Also, stop Reena from eating the chocolate gelt, which is toxic to dogs. Let your children enjoy their chocolate pieces away from their puppy.

Reena will probably want to join in on the fun when your kids spin the dreidel. Don’t let her get close enough to the spinning top to grab and swallow it, or she may need surgery to remove it from her bowels.

When your kids open their presents each evening, immediately throw away the ribbon and string to prevent your new family member from ingesting them. Consider getting your kids a gift certificate to take Reena to puppy kindergarten and a training book for kids so they can take an active role in training their new puppy.

Question: When Cheddar, my 5 year old cat, was shot yesterday, one of its paws was broken in several places. I can’t afford a leg repair so my vet recommends amputation. Can cats move on only three legs?

A: You might be surprised to learn that they are doing just fine, as long as all three of these legs are functioning normally.

A study of more than 200 cats whose paws had been amputated – most often due to fractures after being hit by cars – reported that 89% of families believed their cats had returned to a normal quality of life after the amputation, and 94% said they would make the same decision again.

In a smaller study, 97% of families said their cats returned to normal activities and enjoyed a good quality of life after leg amputation, and 87% would recommend the procedure for other cats in similar circumstances.

Since Cheddar will only have three legs, it won’t be able to run as fast or climb a tree to escape dogs and other predators, so it should live indoors.

When considering amputation, consider the alternatives. One of them forces Cheddar to suffer the pain of a badly fractured leg for the rest of his life. The other option is euthanasia. My recommendation is the painful leg amputation which he cannot use anyway.

If you’re still not sure, ask your vet to introduce you to a few “tripod” cats and their families, who can tell you how well their cats do on three legs.

Lee Pickett, VMD, practices pet medicine in North Carolina. Contact her at

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