Avoid These Easter Pet Emergencies

Posted March 27, 2018 @ 11:31am | by James Newton, DVM

The Easter holiday is near which means beautiful weather, family gatherings, Easter egg hunts, and Easter baskets. The pretty flowers, assorted chocolates, and plastic eggs may seem innocent and fun, but they can be very dangerous to our pets! Below are some potential hazards to be aware of this Easter weekend and how to avoid them!  


Lilies  
Lilies are beautiful flowers, but many species are extremely toxic to cats. Plants of the genus Lilium and Hemerocallis are the most dangerous. Easter lilies, tiger lilies, Asiatic lilies, and daylilies can cause kidney failure when a cat eats any part of the plant, drinks water from the plant’s dish, or breathes in the plant’s pollen. Within the first 24 hours, the kidneys will begin to shut down which is why immediate treatment is necessary. Calla lilies, peace lilies, and Peruvian lilies, while not deadly, can still irritate a cat’s mouth and lead to excessive drooling. 

Symptoms: Vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, difficulty walking, seizures, or death. 

How to Avoid Lily Toxicity 
Don’t bring lilies into your home if you have a cat! Curious cats have a way to reach those high up spots. Also, if your church hands out lilies as an Easter gift to members, politely decline. Ask your church to make a sign or put a note in the bulletin to warn all cat owners not to bring home any lilies!


Xylitol  
Many products are made with a low-calorie artificial sweetener called xylitol. It’s commonly found in gum, breath mints, baked goods, sugar-free candy, toothpastes, and some medications. A few pieces of gum in a medium-sized dog may be life-threatening within thirty minutes to an hour of ingestion because xylitol causes a dog’s blood sugar to plummet. 

Symptoms: Lethargy, weakness, trouble walking, seizures, or liver failure. 

How to Avoid Xylitol Toxicity
The best way to avoid xylitol toxicity is to keep products that contain xylitol out of your pet’s reach. We also recommend that pet owners avoid keeping xylitol products such as gum or candy in their purses and bags. Also, read ingredients carefully before giving your dog items like peanut butter, because some brands use xylitol. 


Chocolate 
Chocolate contains methylxanthines, specifically theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to dogs and cats. If your pet eats chocolate, symptoms may develop within 6-12 hours after being eaten. Remember, the darker the chocolate, the more concentrated and toxic it is. 

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity/restlessness, tremors, seizures, disorientation, arrhythmias, respiratory distress, or death.

How to Avoid Chocolate Toxicity
Keep those Easter bunnies and chocolate goodies out of your pet’s reach. Don’t leave Easter baskets or plastic Easter eggs full of candy out where your pet can find them. Remind your kids to also keep an eye on their Easter candy and not to leave any out! 


Foreign Bodies and Dietary Indiscretion
All pets tend to chew on objects that they aren’t supposed to chew on, but this is especially true for dogs! These objects can get stuck in the digestive tract, resulting in emergency surgery and medical care. During Easter, these are the most common reasons for foreign bodies in the pet ER:

Easter Grass

Easter grass in baskets is an easy way to decorate, but if your pet eats it, it is indigestible and can cause an obstruction!  

AVOID this foreign body by using tissue paper, newspaper, or skipping the basket filler altogether. 

Plastic Eggs and Toys
Those plastic eggs filled with candy or money are fun until Fido gets his paws on them. If eaten, these types of objects could get stuck in your pet’s digestive tract!

AVOID this foreign body by keeping track of the hidden plastic eggs. If your kids didn’t find one, be sure to track it down before the pets do! Also, keep Easter baskets high up and out of your pet’s reach. While the kids are checking their baskets, we recommend keeping the pets secured in another room. Clean up the fake grass, candy, and toys before you release the pets!

Table Scraps
A few bites of unsalted turkey or ham is okay, but your pet shouldn’t have an entire plate of human food. Most pets have sensitive stomachs. When they eat too much human food, it could lead to an emergency clinic visit. In particular, avoid giving your pets bones, corn on the cob, fatty foods, sugary foods, and toxic foods such as grapes, raisins, onions, macadamia nuts, and garlic. 

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

AVOID this Easter hazard by reminding guests not to feed your pets. If there still might be an issue with getting into the garbage or countersurfing, you may need to keep pets in another room or a kennel during meal prep and dinnertime. 


If your pet eats any of these hazardous items, contact your family veterinarian or emergency clinic right away! Prompt treatment is the best way to ensure your pet’s recovery. We hope these tips will help you avoid an emergency trip to the vet! Have a safe Easter weekend! 

 
Filed Under: Community |   | Permalink
 
 
 
Comments powered by Disqus