Ruff Times

LaCava's Mobile Veterinary Service Blog
Easter Pet Hazards
Published by Dr. Cassandra LaCava in Easter Pet Hazards • 4/1/2015

Hello Friends!! Easter is fast approaching! Can you believe Spring is here??! Of course, I have to be Debbie Downer and remind you of the dangers that Easter can bring to your pet. Here is a short review of the most common dangers that you and your best friend may encounter this Easter:

Stress and company:

With everyone coming and going, watch out for open doors and sneaky pets. Make sure your pets have collars and tags on in case of escape. Ask guests to keep an eye out for pets under foot and remind them that sometimes your normally friendly dog or cat may be less than willing to deal with enthusiastic children and rooms full of unfamiliar people. Provide a special quiet place with a blanket and fresh water for your pets to retreat to when the festivities get too stressful.

Remind people that your pet is not a garbage disposal, and to please NOT FEED YOUR PET ANYTHING. This may seem extreme, but your pet is bound to catch food that falls on the floor anyway, and extra table scraps will just lead to an upset belly or possibly worse.

Easter Lily (and related Lily plants):

The Easter Lily is a common finding this time of year. Many species of lilies are toxic to cats.
Other pets, such as dogs and rabbits, do not seem to be affected. Examples of these plants are the Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum), Tiger Lily ( Lilium tigrinum), Day Lily (Lilium hemerocallus), Asian lily (Lily asiatic spp.) and Rubrum Lily ( Lilium rubrum).

The first signs seen are vomiting and lethargy, and if untreated, may progress to kidney (renal) failure and death. Please call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant.

Another spring flower often used in cut flower arrangements, daffodils, are also toxic to cats.

Easter grass:

Cats love to play with anything that moves. Easter grass is no exception! It moves easily in the breeze, makes interesting sounds, and, for some cats, it is delicious! Stringy things like Easter grass or tinsel at Christmas, pose a deadly threat if ingested, creating something called a linear foreign body. The first signs seen, aside from the material being visible from the mouth or anus, are vomiting or straining to defecate and a painful abdomen.

If you see a piece of grass sticking out of your catís mouth or anus, DO NOT CUT IT OR PULL IT OUT, as this can cause more damage if the piece is long and trapped far inside the body. Call your veterinarian if you suspect that your cat has sampled the Easter grass. While linear foreign bodies are more common in cats, dogs may also ingest non-food material, and the same rules apply.

Candy and Chocolate

During Easter we eat lots of great candy, but none are safe for your furry friend!

Most pets are attracted to candy because is sweet, but the sugar it contains can upset their belly. If the candy is sugar-free, it may contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs and ferrets (especially) that causes a very serious hypoglycemia.

We all know that chocolate is very dangerous for dogs (and cats), so please keep all chocolate out of reach. Don't leave baskets unattended, and make sure that your children clean up thoroughly after going through their goodies.

Foil wrapping can also cause internal damage if ingested and sharp pieces of foil can cause damage to the esophagus and intestines.

Eggs (real or plastic)

Please make sure to pick up all your hidden eggs after egg hunts, because eggs spoil very quickly. (Even if hard boiled) If Fido or Fluffy finds one a few days after the egg hunt is over, it will make them very ill if they eat it.

I know what youíre thinkingÖIíll just use candy filled plastic eggs. Well, if your fur-kid finds that egg, the candy and the plastic egg will also cause problems! So please be very careful during your Easter egg hunt if your dogs or cats are nearby! A good idea would be to count the amount of eggs you hide and make sure they are all accounted for after the hunt.

Please be very careful this Easter. Enjoy yourself and I hope the Easter Bunny fills your basket with all the Spring fun your heart desires!