Thursday, 29 March 2018

Spring and Easter pet safety.

As we celebrate the joys of spring we mustn't forget the potential hazards that our pets can encounter during the season.


CHOCOLATE

With lots of chocolate around the house, we'd like to remind pet owners, especially those with dogs, of the dangers of chocolate and the importance of keeping it out of reach.


The concentration of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate. For example, cocoa powder, baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine compared to milk chocolate. The toxicity of theobromine is dose-related, meaning that the overall effect of chocolate ingestion on the dog depends on the size of the dog, the amount of chocolate eaten and the type of chocolate eaten.


The symptoms of theobromine ingestion may include restlessness, excitement, hyperactivity, nervousness, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased drinking and increased urination, increased heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and possibly death.



If your dog (or cat) has ingested any chocolate (even a small amount) you should contact your vet as soon as possible for advice.


RAISINS/SULTANAS/CURRENTS/GRAPES


It is unknown exactly why these foods are toxic to dogs, but it has been found that some dogs develop acute kidney failure following consumption of these fruits, even from eating a  small amount. Hot cross buns are popular at Easter time, ensure that you keep them out of reach.



It is important to contact your vet straight away should you suspect that your dog might have eaten any foods containing these fruits.








LILIES

A popular plant at this time of year, these beautiful flowers are best avoided if you have a cat in the household or you are giving flowers as a gift to a cat owner.
Lilies are poisonous to cats and can cause kidney failure. All parts of the plant are poisonous, even a small exposure to the pollen can be potentially very dangerous.
Contact us immediately if you suspect that your cat has come into contact with these flowers.










IN THE GARDEN

Cocoa mulch - This is often used in flower beds by gardeners but, as with chocolate, this contains theobromine which is poisonous to pets. Tree bark is a safer alternative.


Gardening tools/equipment - Keep pets away from equipment during use. All gardening tools should be returned to the shed or garage once they have finished being used, so that a pet doesn’t accidentally injure itself on their sharp points and edges. 
Remember to check for wildlife such as hedgehogs and frogs before starting up the lawn mower or strimmer. Use a soft broom to brush through long grass and check under bushes on the edge of borders.

Flowers/plants - Many plants can pose a risk to pets if eaten. Some plants are more poisonous than others. You can find lists on the internet of pet-safe plants and those that are toxic and best avoided.

While some pets aren't interested in nibbling plants, others are notorious for it. Puppies and kittens can be particularly prone to chewing - be sure to choose pet-safe plants with these pets. Supervision is also important.
Fencing flower borders can help to stop dogs wandering into them.


Bulbs can look especially tempting, keep them out of reach.




GARDEN CHEMICALS

Keep garden chemicals stored securely and out of reach of pets and children.
Ensure that they are used according to label instructions and keep your pet off of treated areas.
When selecting a product for purchase, and when using a product, read the label carefully as it will give clear and precise instructions regarding children and pets.
  
Poisons

Slug bait - With showers and warm weather bringing out the slugs and snails, some gardeners are tempted to reach for the slug bait to protect their plants from these pests. 
Metaldehyde is a common ingredient of slug pellets and is extremely poisonous. Pets are attracted to the cereal based pellets and will eat them. Pets that have consumed metaldehyde may become unsteady on their feet and become twitchy, this can then progress to convulsions and respiratory failure. If you have any concerns that your pet may have consumed any slug and snail pellets, call your vet ( or nearest vet to you) immediately - even if they appear well.
The best thing for a household with pets is to avoid using these products. 

There are some newer slug and snail pellets available that do not contain metaldehyde. It is important to follow instructions on the packet and take precautions when using them. We would advise that if your pet was to accidentally eat them to contact your vet immediately for advice.

There are alternatives to using slug pellets such as crushed egg shells, sand paper, slug pubs and copper tape/rings. 

Rat bait - If using rodent poisons discuss their use with a professional, use pet friendly alternatives where possible and ensure that any bait is completely inaccessible to any pets. If accidental ingestion is at all expected contact your vet immediately. Not all rodenticides are the same so it is important to provide the vet with information on what was used.




Disclaimer:



      The contents of the Arden House Animal Hospital website are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Veterinary Surgeon with any questions you may have regarding your animal’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 






1 comment:

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