Easter Dangers For Pets
Easter can be a fun time for all the family with the warm spring weather and going out for walks with your family and pets. However there are hazards which could turn that lovely day into an emergency trip to the vet! To help prevent this happening we have put together some of our tips for you to be aware of.
Easter eggs / chocolates
During Easter chocolate is generally in abundance in many households. Many dogs are particularly greedy and are more likely to try and grab one of these delights.
Although chocolates are harmless to humans, apart from the added calories, they can be very dangerous to pets and can even be fatal.
Chocolate contains a toxin called theobromine, which is a chemical found in the plants that are used to make chocolate. Humans can break this down quickly, so it does not act as a poison. Dogs, however, metabolise the chemical a lot slower, meaning that it can cause detrimental effects.
Symptoms of theobromine poisoning include muscle stiffness, vomiting, tremors, heart arrhythmias and fitting. These symptoms usually occur within the first 4 hours, but may take up to 24 hours to appear.
Dark chocolate has the highest concentration of theobromine and any more than 1.25g of chocolate per kg of bodyweight should trigger a trip to the vets. Milk chocolate is less toxic but anything over 9g per kg should also be treated. White chocolate has low amounts of theobromine and can be considered safe, but the high fat contents could cause other problems.
Chocolate is also bad for rabbits and cats, however, they are less likely than dogs to eat it, as unlike dogs they cannot taste the sweetness.
Easter eggs with toys inside
Easter eggs with toys inside are also a popular gift for children at this time of year. Small toys can easily be swallowed by pets and lead to a digestive obstruction, in-turn which can lead to expensive surgery. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/8026310.stm
Symptoms include: Vomiting, bloating, weight loss, dehydration and weakness. If you think your pet may have swallowed a small toy, please get them to your vet as soon as possible.
Hot cross buns at Easter
This is an Easter treat not to be shared with our beloved pets. Hot cross buns contain dried fruits and raisins which can lead to kidney failure in both cats and dogs.
Symptoms are generally noticed weeks later when the secondary effects of reduced function of the kidneys kick in. Generally in the days after ingestion of the raisins or dried fruits there are no clinical signs at all.
Flowers during springtime
Flowers look lovely in our homes around Easter, however, they can be dangerous to our pets. Here are a few of the key ones which can cause problems for our furry friends.
Lilies – are extremely toxic to cats. Each part of the flower is dangerous, even the water the flowers are standing in. Lilies can cause kidney failure and if treatment is not given immediately they can be fatal. Signs include dehydration, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, extreme thirst.
Daffodils – popular during springtime, daffodils are poisonous to dogs if they decided to eat one. The bulbs are the most toxic parts. Furthermore, if any of the flowers are swallowed it can lead to drooling, diarrhoea, vomiting and in more severe cases difficulty in breathing and heart problems.
Amaryllis – a beautiful plant where the bulb is exposed, the bulb is the most dangerous part if eaten. Symptoms include drooling, tummy pain, vomiting, breathing issues and sudden drops in blood pressure if the plant part is eaten.Tulips – again popular at Easter for their bright colours. These pretty flowers can irritate your dog’s mouth and the gastrointestinal tract. If the tulips are eaten they can cause the following symptoms, drooling, diarrhoea, vomiting and in more severe cases difficulty in breathing and heart problems.
Finally, in a lot of the above cases, the symptoms will not show until the damage has occurred, some problems are not always reversible. In many situations, a lot more can be done within the first 4 hours to help save your pet. Therefore if you think your pet has consumed any of the above products, please get in touch with your vet immediately. In the event of an out of hours emergency, please see our contact page for our emergency veterinary centre in Gateshead’s contact details.
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