This time of years full of yummy holiday foods for our families. It is also the time of year veterinary emergency clinic see a huge increase in cases of acute Pancreatitis.

One of the most serious threats to dogs is pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas. An organ in the gut that helps the body digest food, the pancreas releases enzymes that help with digestion by helping break down fats and promote digestion. Pancreatitis typically occurs in dogs when the pancreas becomes inflamed from eating the wrong foods.

Acute pancreatitis can occur after a dog eats fatty food like pork, skin from chicken or turkey, butter, sour cream, cheese dips, or gravy. Acute pancreatitis can cause diarrhea, vomiting and/or abdominal pain. Symptoms may not be immediate and can occur up to four days after eating these foods. Nuts, also high in fat, are another food that can put dogs at risk for pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are the most dangerous. Besides causing vomiting and diarrhea, ingesting these nuts can temporarily incapacitate your dog, making it difficult to stand up or walk normally (your dog may look drunk or drag its rear limbs as if injured).

In addition to pancreatitis, dogs can also be physically injured by foods they eat, especially turkey trussings (threads and wires), splintered bones, and even corncobs. Dogs that ingest these can end up with obstructions or gastrointestinal injuries that may require surgery.

Turkey brine is another Thanksgiving bugaboo. The salt-saturated solution used to baste or marinate raw turkey is very appealing to dogs. But it can cause salt toxicosis, which causes excessive thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea, and serious electrolyte imbalances that can even lead to brain swelling.

Xylitol, another, but more of a year-round risk to dogs, is an artificial sweetener found in everything from gum, mints, candy, sugar-free chocolate, and toothpaste. Ingestion can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar and liver damage in dogs. It can be life-threatening even in small quantities.

So stock up on some extra special dog treats for your pet to enjoy and leave the people food for family.