With Easter weekend quickly approaching, here are some of the top hazards to our pets. Keep in mind there are many more hazards. The ones below are associated with the holidays where a lot of chocolate is present. Please feel free to add to the list in the comment section.
- Chocolate. The four most dangerous time of the year for pets are Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Look for gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, stimulation to the nervous system (hyperactivity, tremors, and seizures) and elevation in heart rate.
- Foods you wouldn’t think of as dangerous. Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol, alcohol and many other foods. Click here for more of the top offenders, symptoms, and actions you should take immediately, should your pet ingest any of these.
- Plastic Easter grass. Since pets cannot absorb plastic it may become lodged in the intestinal tract. Sometimes surgery is required. If you see plaster Easter grass (or any type of ‘string’ coming out of your cat DO NOT PULL! Get to a vet immediately, especially if vomiting, diarrhea, a decrease in appetite, lethargy, and stomach pain are present.
- Plants. Lilies and bulbs that bloom in spring. Lilies (Lilium sp and Hemerocallis sp) can cause serious concerns for cats and dogs. Exposure to any parts of the plant can result in kidney injury and gastrointestinal upset.
- Fertilizers and herbicides. One you may not consider, but many people plant their garden beginning Easter weekend. Always follow label directions and keep your pet inside and safe until the product has been watered or the ground is dry.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435. However, it may be in the best interest of your pet to contact your personal vet. The ASPCA may charge a $65 consultation fee. Google or Bing search engines also provide a lot of information if you enter the substance name your pet has accidentally ingested.
Happy Easter everyone!