It’s been the week for bad gastroenteritis cases—‘tis the season and all that. Ubiquitous Cuban pork rinds on dinner tables make it stealthily into patient maws lurking beneath tablecloths. The black beans get scooped into bowls when everyone’s too busy to make sure Fluffy’s food made it in the grocery cart. And ribbons are strewn everywhere as if expecting to disappear without a trace.

Already this week I’ve seen one Christmas ribbon case, one pancreatitis via pork rind and several undisclosed cases of dietary indiscretion (most people don’t want to fess up, though they readily admit to the probability of food-borne vomiting and diarrhea).

And we haven’t even hit the busy weeks!

After this weekend’s round of parties, I arrived to work this morning expecting to need a gas mask to deal with my fecal samples. First two cases: diarrhea. Next two cases: vomiting. You’d think we humans would learn. (We certainly don’t expect our pets to turn down a nice juicy ham hock fresh out of the lentil stew, now, do we?)

Yet even I’ve suffered the consequences of holiday fare in my household this year. This morning, my adolescent Frenchie, Vincent, left my mother a nice present on her Oriental rug about ten minutes after she offered him a delicious bite of Humboldt Fog rind (you absolutely must try this cheese if you love soft, ripe goat cheeses). To be fair, the vegetable stew I plied him with last night probably didn’t help.

Vincent’s case is pretty mild, but some gastroenteritis cases are definitely over the top. Like one of today’s vomiters, a puppy mill holiday Lab with a raging kennel cough and blood in his vomitus. Turned out she’d ingested a beer cap sometime last week. Corona Light, to be precise. I know because I just explored her abdomen and opened up her stomach to fish it out.

They’ll come fast and furiously this week and next. In fact, it won’t let up until all the New Year’s leftovers are a distant memory. Much as I love the holidays (really, I do) I certainly won’t feel blue once the “cheer” disappears for good.