Spring Pet Poisons: How to Protect Your Pet
Along with great weather, spring also brings a lot of pet toxins and risks. Whether you’re caring for the lawn or firing up the grill, spring pet poisons is a topic every owner should be aware of this time of year.
4 Common Spring Pet Poisons
- Easter lilies (including tiger and day lily varieties) – These popular blooms are incredibly toxic to cats. They’re one of the most deadly plants your feline can ingest, with all parts being poisonous. Even in small quantities, the result can be kidney failure.
Signs of lily toxicity in cats include: vomiting, drooling, foaming at the mouth, pawing at the mouth, and lethargy.
Considering the severity of this form of poisoning, we recommend keeping all lilies out of your home if you are a cat guardian.
- Over-the-counter parasite preventives – Many flea and tick products down at the local pet store can be a noxious mix of chemicals if used incorrectly. In fact, most of the canine medications pose serious health risks to cats.
Store bought heartworm preventives are also dangerous because they sidestep important screenings. Unbeknownst to many pet owners, heartworm preventives cannot be administered safely to pets currently infected with the disease due to dangerous side effects. That’s why annual heartworm screening and year-round prevention is necessary.
- Chocolate and Xylitol – Nothing says springtime quite like sweet treats, which often include chocolate and Xylitol (a common sugar substitute). Unfortunately, both are toxic to pets.
Signs of chocolate poisoning include: vomiting and diarrhea, panting, increased thirst, restlessness, racing heart, and tremors (which can progress into seizures if not treated).
Clinical signs of Xylitol poisoning are: vomiting, weakness, loss of coordination, lethargy, and tremors.
While it may be tough to keep all potentially toxic foods out of your home, it is possible to take certain precautions. If storing chocolate or sugar-free candies and gum, simply make the effort to keep these items in a pet-proof pantry or cabinet.
- Rodenticides – Each year, hundreds of pets (and wild animals) are harmed by rat poisons. Substances commonly used in these baits include anticoagulants, bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and zinc phosphide (and sometimes strychnine). Unfortunately, these products aren’t designed to kill rodents alone; they also affect hundreds of non-target species such as livestock and family pets.
Anticoagulant chemicals can lead to internal bleeding, which often does not provide any immediate, visible signs. When symptoms do emerge, they often include lack of appetite, impaired movement, tremors, and seizure.
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, please contact us right away.
To protect your pet against other spring pet poisons, consider stashing all fertilizers and cleaners in a safe place (or avoid using them altogether). If you plan on tidying up the attic or garage, make sure your pet is in a secure area away from all the commotion.
Please contact the team at Schertz Animal Hospital if you’re ever in doubt about the safety of a chemical or substance.
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Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!