Q: I hear so many different things about the dangers of pets eating poinsettias and mistletoe at Christmas.
So tell me, are they really poisonous or not? L.S., Farragut
A: If ingested in small amounts, both poinsettias and mistletoe typically will only cause a mild gastritis.
You could expect your dog or cat to have some vomiting, but it will often resolve without treatment, with a couple of exceptions.
If large amounts of mistletoe are eaten, it can cause cardiac problems, specifically bradycardia (low heart rate) and/or hypotension (low blood pressure).
Additionally, if pets are elderly, fragile and/or have pre-existing medical conditions, the vomiting could result in possible dehydration and necessitate hospitalization.
Take care during the holidays to protect your pets from potential hazards.
If you have a question about your pet, you may e-mail Dr. Myers at email@example.com