Eagerly awaited signs of spring and warmer weather enticing our pets outside brings more seasonal dangers. Here are some of the common hazards to pets to be aware of in springtime:
Daffodils can be poisonous with the toxic agents most concentrated in the bulb. Following ingestion signs of vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration occur within 24 hours. Spring crocuses are low toxicity, in contrast to the Autumn Crocus species which are highly toxic. Other spring bulbs including hyacinths, tulips and primroses are considered to be low toxicity and cases of ingestion are unlikely to require veterinary attention.
There are dangerous and benign lilies out there, and it is important to know the difference. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs like irritation to the mouth and drooling. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies including Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily call us for advice.
Wasp and Bee stings
These are usually not emergencies but always call the surgery for advice. If your dog is stung in or near the mouth or neck then you may need to seek veterinary help. Dogs and Cats, like humans, can be allergic to stings. Signs include swellings, distress and breathing difficulties.
Spot-ons' containing Permethrin
An insecticide commonly found in many over the counter 'spot-on' flea treatments for dogs. It is very toxic to cats and unfortunately cases of poisoning commonly occur, mostly after owners mistakenly use a dog product on the cat, but they can also show mild signs after close contact with a recently treated dog. Signs of poisoning include drooling, twitching and seizures. It is very important to contact the surgery immediately if you think your cat has been poisoned. Cats that receive immediate treatment and survive usually suffer no long-term effects.
Slug and snail pellets containing Metaldehyde
A common poison to dogs, seen occasionally with cats. Ingestion of small amounts of pellets can cause significant poisoning. Signs are usually seen within an hours of ingestion and include incoordination, muscle spasms, twitching and seizures and require urgent veterinary treatment.
Revised guidelines from the Veterinary Poisons Investigation Service recommend treatment if your dog eats more than 3.5g/kg of dark chocolate or 14g/kg milk chocolate. This equates to a Jack Russell Terrier eating a small bar of Bourneville or a large bar of Dairy Milk! Remember to keep those easter eggs well hidden….
Nights are getting warmer but remember any amount of certain anti-freeze preparations can be toxic to cats and dogs.
We're open 7 days a week so are always on hand for advice - just call us on 01305 268 794.
Dorchester Vets4Pets Team