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Matthew Sisk: Beware of pet peer pressure regarding people food
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Cats don’t fully appreciate observational humor.

When a comedian asks you if you hate it when popcorn gets stuck in your teeth, you have a frame of reference to relate to the forthcoming jokes. But cats just don’t feel your pain.

We probably have difficulty fully understanding their plight as well, which brings me to Leia. She’s going to miss her first kitten appointment today.

Her family was polite enough to call the office and notify us. You see, her appointment was supposed to be Monday — the day after the Super Bowl. But pet shenanigans rendered her family’s schedule a bit askew.

For the game, her family had a gathering. Friends and extended family attended, including a small dog.

Now this dog and Leia became fast friends, as they’re not too far apart in size. But from what I hear, the dog is a bit of a troublemaker. And Leia, at her young age, gave in to peer pressure.

The dog has his owners trained so they share human foods with him. This is, of course, a bad idea. But it’s also very common. Smaller dogs often bond with humans more closely and get a stronger tug on heart strings. So it’s no surprise the pooch assumed he was free to raid the food table during the game with Leia in tow.

Long story short, the family ended up at the emergency clinic overnight. The dog had not only eaten too much food that was far too rich for his physiology, but he ingested non-food items such as toothpicks and cellophane wrappers. The food disagreed with him enough to cause vomiting and diarrhea, but the foreign objects necessitated surgery.

The family was up all night and in no shape to bring Leia in today. We’ll reschedule for later in the week.

The take home message is don’t share human foods with pets. Ever.

Luckily, for Leia, no ingestion issues occurred. But when I do see her two days later, all four of her paws will be slightly orange and smell like nacho cheese.

Matthew Sisk is a practicing veterinarian from Habersham County. Have questions about your pet? He can be reached at

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