While you are enjoying Easter this weekend with your family, please remember to keep these popular Easter items away from your pets:
1) Easter Lilies – Highly toxic to cats (yet only causing minor gastrointestinal upset in dogs), all parts of the Easter Lily are toxic; leaves, stem and even pollen. As little as 1 leaf or a small amount of pollen is enough to cause serious problems including kidney failure or death. Symptoms begin around 6 – 12 hours after ingestion and include: vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, dehydration, disorientation, staggering and seizures. There is no antidote so immediate treatment by a veterinarian is absolutely necessary. Other toxic Lilies include: Tiger Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, and Day Lilies.
2) Easter Grass – The stringy paper or plastic grass that often lines Easter baskets can create an obstruction in a pets intestines if ingested, and can potentially be a choking hazard. The grass tends to be particularly inviting to cats to play with. If an obstruction were to occur, a pet would likely require an expensive foreign body abdominal surgery. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, abdominal pain, and straining to defecate or constipation.
3) Chocolate – The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. For small pets the effects can be even stronger. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity from ingestion include: hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, increased body temperature, seizures and collapsing. Chocolate toxicity can be fatal, so always call your veterinarian to check, even if you think your pet is fine.
4) Candy sweetened with Xylitol – A natural sugar free sweetener, most commonly found in chewing gum, but also found in some candies, mints, jello or pudding. Symptoms of toxicity from ingestion include: weakness, lethargy, collapsing, vomiting, tremoring, seizures, jaundice, malaise, black-tarry stool, and coma. Xylitol toxicity can be fatal, so seek veterinary care if you think your pet has ingested something containing xylitol.
If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items, contact your veterinarian immediately. You can also call the pet poison helpline: 1-800-213-6680 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or check out http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com for more information.
For more information on things that are toxic to pets, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.
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Pet Poison Helpline. “Easter Pet Poisons” Web April 4, 2015. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/.