We all love the Easter holidays, where it is completely acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast lunch & tea, and to fill your home with pretty flowers and sweet treats, however we cannot stress enough the importance of avoiding Easter toxicities in your pets. Many of our sweet treats and decorations can cause fatal outcomes for our beloved animals. Please read the following information to educate yourselves on the most common Easter poisons and their signs & symptoms.
Dogs and chocolate don’t mix! Chocolate is very toxic to pets, and is more commonly sought out by dogs than cats due to their keen sense of smell and sweet tooth! The darker and more bitter the chocolate – the more poisonous it is. While milk and white chocolate pose less of a threat, they should still be kept out of reach of pets. If a dog has ingested chocolate, they may show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in extreme cases, seizures.
There are plenty of other sugary options at Easter for those who don’t like chocolate. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in a many candies, baked goods and chewing gum that can be very toxic to dogs. Keep these sweet treats out of reach!
Easter lily plants or bouquets are very popular around this holiday. True lilies, such as Easter lily, Day lily, Stargazer lily and all Asiatic lilies, are highly toxic to cats, but are far less of a concern to dogs. Peruvian lilies are not true lilies and therefore are not an issue for your household pets. Cats that have been exposed to true lilies through direct or indirect ingestion or from grooming itself after brushing up against the flower and getting pollen on its coat, can experience rapid and significant kidney failure. Cat owners should avoid plants or bouquets of flowers that contain true lilies. If you think your cat has been exposed, seek immediate medical attention. Bring the plant with you to the vet so they can treat the specific poison more effectively. If caught early, the prognosis is good. If not treated within the first 18 hours, the outlook is very grim.
You may also find daffodils in your Easter bouquets. These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid with emetic properties that triggers vomiting. Ingestion of the daffodil’s bulb, plant or flower can cause severe reactions, including vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and possible cardiac arrhythmias or even respiratory depression. Akin to tulips, daffodil bulbs also contain tissue irritants. If ingestion is suspected, seek veterinary assistance.
Easter grass is the fake coloured grass that can be found in many Easter baskets. Curious cats are often intrigued by this decorative grass, but it can be very dangerous if it is ingested and causes a gastrointestinal obstruction, often resulting in the need for abdominal surgery. Signs that your pet may have ingested Easter grass include vomiting, difficulty defecating and a painful abdomen. If you suspect a gastrointestinal obstruction in your pet, contact your veterinarian for help.
If you suspect that your pet has ingested any of the above, please contact us immediately on 01670 457271.