Chicago Veterinary Emergency Room Braces for New Year's Rush

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Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center doctors urge caution on "busiest night of the year" for pet emergencies.

New Year's Eve and Day are an especially busy time for pet emergencies," said Dr. Jerry Klein of Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center

While most of Chicago is stocking up on champagne and party hats, veterinarians at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center are preparing for one of their busiest nights of the year.

"It's definitely an especially busy time in our emergency room," said Dr. Jerry Klein, supervising veterinarian at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. "New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day tend to be especially problematic for pets. People aren't paying as much attention to their pets as they usually do. Food and drinks get left out and pets take advantage of the opportunity to eat and drink things they shouldn’t. The result may be a trip to our emergency room. Sometimes the consequences can be quite dire for the pet and expensive for the owner."

In the hopes of cutting down those New Year's Eve emergency visits, the veterinarians at Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center share tips for a pet-friendly New Year:

1. Make certain that pets have proper identification. Even the most docile pet may get spooked and run out the door as guests come and go during a party. Proper identification with both a tag on its collar and an embedded microchip, can help shelters and veterinarians return stray pets to their owners. Pet owners should periodically confirm that their information with the microchip company is up-to-date. Collar tags are available for immediate production and purchase at many pet stores. Microchips can easily be inserted by a veterinarian.

It’s a good idea to give pets a safe and secure place away from the commotion during a party. Boarding them or having them stay with a relative may ease the risk of problems during large parties.

2. Keep Human Food Out of Reach. Many common party foods contain ingredients that are toxic to pets, including onions, garlic, avocado, chocolate, grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts. Fat from meats and poultry skins can also be dangerous. Bones can easily be chewed into pieces that become lodged in the throat or intestine and require surgery to remove. So keep out of the reach of pets. Make certain that scraps are in a secure, pet-proofed garbage can or storage container when unattended.

3. Keep pets away from purses and coat pockets. Curious pets, especially dogs, aren’t shy about going into a guest’s purse or coat pocket. Often, they’ll find sugar-free gum or sugar-free candy, which often contains Xylitol, a non-sugar sweetener that is poisonous to dogs. Medications, make-up and lip balm are also enticing to pets. It’s best to make certain that purses and coats are out of the reach of your pets. Pet owners whose pet consumes any of these products should seek immediate veterinary medical attention.

4. Be Mindful of Decorations. Long ribbons, streamers, and balloon strings all look like great toys to curious pets. They can all block airways and digestive tracts if swallowed. Avoid setting out anything with long, dangling ends if you have pets in the house. Candles with open flames should be sheltered and attended at all times. Curious pets can easily knock over a candle and burn themselves or start a fire.

5. Keep alcohol out of the reach of pets. Alcohol can be poisonous to pets, so be sure to keep alcoholic beverages out of their reach. Even small amounts can be fatal.

Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center is open 24-hours a day, every day of the year including New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. They always have a full-staff of veterinarians and veterinary technicians available to care for pets who are most in need. The hospital also provides intensive care and veterinary specialists covering numerous medical specialties for those animals needing additional care.

Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center is located at 3123 N. Clybourn, near the intersection of Belmont, Western and Clybourn on Chicago’s North side. Pet owners facing an emergency can call ahead (773-281-7110) or go directly to the facility. No appointment is needed.

About Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center
Chicago’s oldest and largest pet emergency facility, the Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center provides advanced emergency, critical and specialty care for cats and dogs. Each year, the center treats more than 11,000 cats and dogs in its emergency room, and thousands more are cared for by veterinary specialists.

Staffed by highly trained specialists and equipped with the latest technology, Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center is always open – 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In addition to emergency veterinarians and staff, the facility offers board-certified veterinarians who specialize in cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology and surgery. This state-of-the-art facility includes ultrasound and MRI equipment, specialized surgical suites, a blood bank, specialized oxygen cages, heart monitors and more. A cancer and rehabilitation center is located across the street. Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center has been providing emergency care for cats and dogs since 1978.

Media Availability
Veterinary doctors at Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center are available for interview and comment. Arrangements can be made for video to be shot at Chicago Emergency & Specialty Center facilities.

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