This is National Animal Poison Prevention Week
Beware of the Easter Bunnies and what they bring!
Easter time brings flowers, chocolates, and Easter egg hunts. That’s all fun, however, we also want to bring awareness to some risks that may be toxic and harmful to your pets at this time.
This is National Animal Poison Prevention Week, so we want to remind you of certain things you may already be aware of and provide you with information to learn more about keeping your pet safe.
Vets receive calls during Easter concerning pets that have ingested “Easter grass” and chocolate.
The “Easter grass” is the fake grass that often is placed in Easter baskets as a filler and is usually green or yellow. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like “Easter grass”, it can become stuck around the base of their tongue or stomach. It can in turn be unable to pass through the intestines and can result in severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive surgery.
Chocolate is something that many people give as gifts. Make sure it’s given only to humans and is out of your dogs’ reach. Dogs can be poisoned by certain types of chocolate or if they ingest excessive amounts. While the occasional chocolate chip may not be an issue, we caution you to be careful. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity that a dog experiences is due to methylxanthines and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other “hidden” sources to be aware of include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately.
Some plants – like Easter Lilies – are known to be toxic to your cats. Lilies are not toxic to humans or dogs, although other plants can be. Here is a great resource about plants that are toxic and non-toxic >> https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants.
There are also many other items that can affect your pets – to learn more visit animal poison control at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control.
What to do if your pet has been poisoned::
- Immediately remove your pet from the area. Make sure no other pets (or kids!) are exposed to that area, or safely remove any remaining poisonous material from their reach.
- Check to make sure your pet is breathing normally and acting fine otherwise.
- Collect a sample of the material, along with the packaging, vial, or container, and save it – you will need all that information when you talk to your veterinarian.
- Get help. Program your veterinarian phone number, along with an ER vet and Pet Poison Helpline’s phone number (855-764-7661) in your cell phone so you will always have immediate access to help.
- Do NOT give your dog any milk, food, salt, oil, or any other home remedies! Also, never induce vomiting without talking to your veterinarian– it may actually be detrimental or contraindicated.
- Don’t give hydrogen peroxide to your pet without checking with a vet first. For you cat lovers, hydrogen peroxide doesn’t work well to induce vomiting (it just causes massive foaming and salivating instead!), and stronger veterinary prescription medications are necessary to get your cat to vomit up the poison kitty ingested.
Keep in mind that the prognosis is always better when dealt with immediately, so don’t wait to see if your pet becomes symptomatic before calling for help. It’s always less expensive, and safer for your pet for you to call immediately.
Remember that there’s a very small window of time when that one can induce vomiting or pump the stomach in the case of a poisoning!
Let’s keep our pets safe!