Top 5 toxins to avoid this EASTER
By Dr. Aubrie Smith, Veterinarian
1. Easter Grass
This festive Easter decoration can be very appealing to our pets, especially cats. Our pets cannot break down this plastic material in their digestive tract. This can lead to gastrointestinal obstruction and need for hospitalization and even surgical removal.
There are a few reasons chocolate ingestion is bad for animals. First, chocolate contains theobromine (product of the cacao plant) and caffeine. Unfortunately, dogs are sensitive to both these components. Symptoms can include hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death if ingested at a high dose. Second, chocolate has a fair amount of fat within it. A sudden high fatty meal can cause acute inflammation within the pancreas called pancreatitis. This causes vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some cases it can be lethal.
3. Table Scraps
If guests are visiting to celebrate this holiday, please remind them not to feed your pet any table scraps. Any new foods in your pet’s diet can cause gastrointestinal upset manifested by vomiting and diarrhea. Alcohol, onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts are ingredients you especially want to avoid.
While they may look beautiful in your home, please avoid these lily species in your home if you have cats. Lilium and Hemerocallis can cause acute kidney failure in cats. This includes Easter lily, Tiger lily, Stargazer lily, and some Daylilies. All parts of the plant are toxic and only a small amount is needed to cause damage (even less than one leaf)!
5. Lawn Care Products
Warmer weather inspires us to revamp our yards. Many fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are toxic to your pet. Please follow the instructions on the product label and remove any toys or bowls that may be outside before applying. Keep unused products in locked containers outside of your pet’s access and make sure the ground is dry before letting your pet enjoy the lawn.
We are here 24 hours a day to help you and your fur baby. If you have concerns that your pet has consumed any of these Easter dangers, please contact us or your family veterinarian. Your health care team may recommend contacting the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) or ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) to inquire further about the specific product ingredients and treatment recommendations based on your pet’s weight.
Happy Easter from all of us at Rocky Gorge!