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Mistletoe and Dogs

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Q. I usually decorate my house with mistletoe and holly at Christmas but earlier in the year I rehomed a young and rather lively Jack Russell Terrier and I am not sure if these decorations will be safe.  What do you advise?

A. Mistletoe is poisonous and capable of causing liver poisoning – particularly the berries.  The majority of dogs (athough not all!) are likely to find it fairly non-palatable.  As long as it is firmly secured well out of the dog’s reach it should be OK but even then make sure that if any berries fall off, they fall somewhere where the dog cannot reach them.  

Be cautious with holly too.  We have seen cases of injuries to dogs from holly.  It can cause ulceration of the eye after scratching the cornea (surface of the eye) and it can get stuck between toes and even the tongue!  Keeping it well out of reach would be the safest approach.

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