Mimram Vets is warning owners to be extra vigilant in the lead up to Easter as the practice prepares for an increase in the number of pet emergencies.
We expect to see a rise in the number of poorly pets who have eaten something they shouldn’t have in the run-up to Easter.
Easter eggs, sweets and hot cross buns may be tempting treats but they are potentially fatal if eaten by pets.
Easter is the second busiest time of year after Christmas for cases of chocolate poisoning. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to pets, and even small amounts can cause heart problems, hyperexcitability and fits.
Raisins in hot cross buns can be deadly to pets, while the traditional Easter Sunday dinner can cause problems with gastroenteritis or choking on bones.
Lilies are poisonous to cats and daffodil, crocus and tulip bulbs are toxic to dogs.
Mimram Vets head veterinary nurse Anna Wright said: “Whether it’s caused by well-meaning owners treating their pets with chocolate or chocolate accidentally left within their reach, we see a lot of dogs suffering from chocolate poisoning at this time of year.
“The higher the level of cocoa in the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, so the darker the chocolate, the greater the risk. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, and can lead to seizures and cardiac failure.
“Some sweets contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is toxic to pets.
“The safest option is to keep chocolate and sweets locked away, well out of reach of pets.
“While it’s tempting to give your pet some of your traditional Easter roast, turkey and lamb are rich and fatty and can increase the risk of pancreatitis or gastroenteritis. Cooked meat bones can also cause choking, a blockage or perforate the intestine.
“Even the most well-behaved pets can be tempted to steal food so make sure they can’t get access to the tops of cookers or kitchen worktops.”
Mimram Vets is urging owners to contact their local surgery if they suspect their pet has eaten anything toxic.
TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR PET SAFE AT EASTER
1. Chocolate contains theobromine and can cause hyperactivity, seizures, and an elevated heart rate in dogs. Keep Easter eggs out of reach from your dog.
2. Grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are all toxic to dogs and it is believed the dried forms of these fruits are more toxic than grapes. Keep hot cross buns well away from your dogs.
3. Sweets that contain the sugar substitute xylitol, a sweetener, is toxic to dogs and cats. It can cause problems such as seizures and liver failure
4. Easter lilies are pretty but cats have a tendency to chew on them. These flowers are toxic to cats and can cause vomiting and lethargy.
5. Stuffed cuddly toy bunnies and chicks and plastic toys can be chewed or swallowed by pets, causing choking or blockages.
6. Do not give your pet lamb, turkey or chicken bones and be vigilant about them stealing from the Easter dinner table.
7. Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on people – but it takes a lot less to hurt your dog.
8. Daffodils, tulips and crocus are toxic to pets, especially if dogs dig up and eat the bulbs.
9. Be cautious about giving your pet scraps from the table. Rich, fatty foods can result in vomiting or diarrhoea and high-fat meals can lead to an increased risk of pancreatitis, a painful and serious condition.
10. Keep onions and garlic – powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated – away from your dog. They can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and anaemia.
If you think your pet may have eaten something that they shouldn’t have, please call the practice on 01438 712300.