As the weather improves and the days become longer there’s so much to look forward to in spring, but for pet owners there’s a darker side to the season. Many of the things we associate with spring can be extremely dangerous to our furry friends.
So before the joys of spring turn into a disaster for your pet, Sarah Solomon, Practice Manager of Heath Veterinary Clinic in Burgess Hill and Hurstpierpoint, offers some advice on the hidden hazards and how to avoid them:
Beautiful but toxic
The epitome of spring, flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are poisonous to dogs, cats and rabbits. Ingesting any part of the plant can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and in some cases increased heart and respiratory rates if eaten.
Other spring favourites such as crocus plants and lily of the valley, which are often hidden away in gardens, can cause gastrointestinal issues particularly in cats and rabbits. So before you let your pets roam free in the garden, or if you’re planning to plant this spring, check the list of toxic plants which can be found easily online.
The killer indoors
Whilst a vase of spring flowers inside the house looks beautiful to us, for our pets this could prove fatal. Many common varieties of lilies are highly toxic to cats. For seasonal favourites such as Tiger and Easter lilies, the pollen, leaves, stems and even the water can result in seizures and kidney failure if ingested.
As we tend to the plants in the garden, many of us will be reaching for the fertilizer, however, this is another hidden danger, especially for dogs. Organic fertilizers contain blood meal, which can cause iron toxicity, or bone meal which can form a hard, cement-like ball in the stomach if swallowed in large amounts. It is important to ensure bags of fertilizer are kept in locked sheds or cupboards and never left out unsupervised.
The Easter bunny may be delivering chocolate but it’s not something he should indulge in. Chocolate is poison to pets. It contains the substance theobromine, which if consumed by pets can prove fatal. If your pet accidentally consumes chocolate, it is important that you seek veterinary advice as soon as possible with details of your pet’s weight and the amount and type of chocolate that has been eaten. Please keep all chocolate treats well away from your furry friends to ensure a happy Easter. Equally, small Easter egg hunt treats and decorations can pose a choking hazard if left unattended, make sure you collect all the prizes up before allowing your pet back into the garden or house.
If you suspect your pet has ingested something that could be dangerous, or is showing any of the symptoms mentioned it is important to contact your local veterinary clinic as soon as possible for specialist care.