Although Easter is a fun holiday filled with egg hunts, Easter baskets, candy and lilies, it’s actually a tough holiday in the veterinary world. Why? Because Easter is filled with several silent dangers that could bring serious harm to your pets.
Easter lilies are a hallmark of the Easter season, except there’s one problem. They’re extremely poisonous to cats, and possibly fatal. Your cat is not a plant nibbler? The danger is still present, because all parts of the plant, even the pollen, are toxic. Your cat brushes up against the plant, gets pollen on its fur, grooms itself and boom! You have an emergency.
Symptoms, which include vomiting, anorexia, drooling, and lethargy, occur one to three hours after exposure. Without medical intervention, symptoms may progress to coma and eventual death.
Filled Easter baskets left unattended could also mean trouble. Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it can be. Theobromine is a naturally occurring stimulant in the cocoa bean that affects your pet’s central nervous system and heart. You might notice that it makes your kids a bit hyper, but for your pet, it’s a dangerous type of hyper. Some symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitching, tremors and seizures.
Easter candy isn’t limited to chocolate. Many candies use an artificial sweetener called xylitol. And yes—you guessed it—that’s poisonous too. The best prevention is to educate your kids, guests, and never underestimate your pets.
Artificial Easter grass is very tempting to cats and the mischievous dog. If ingested by your pet, you could be looking at trouble. The grass doesn’t just clog up your vacuum cleaner, it can become a linear foreign body and essentially clog your pet’s intestinal tract, resulting in pricey emergency surgery or, if left untreated, fatality.
Egg hunts are part of the Easter tradition. If you don’t always find every last egg, you can bet your pooch eventually will! A spoiled hardboiled egg can cause gastrointestinal distress. If it’s a plastic egg, he can chew, shatter, and ingest plastic pieces. So keep all your eggs in one basket.
Have a wonderful Easter, but remember to take steps to avoid any unnecessary trips to the vet.
by Adriene Buisch
Special to the Baltimore Guide