Protect Your Pets from Easter Holiday Hazards

Easter is a great time for families but we have to always remember that what’s fine for people isn’t necessarily okay for pets. Here are a few common Easter items that are the biggest problem during this holiday.

Easter Lilies – Lilies are highly toxic to cats. All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous, the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.

Easter Grass – Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Chocolate – During the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Read more info. on Pet Poisonings on the OVMA website.

The Pet Poison Helpline is a service available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet.

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