The changing seasons can bring new challenges for our pets. Help keep your pet happy and healthy this season with this advice from our Emergency Medicine team.
- Spring flowers can present danger to cats and dogs. While many flowers and plants can be dangerous to pets, lilies are especially toxic to cats. If ingested, every part of the lily flower and plant can cause serious health problems, and in some cases, can be fatal. Other plants presenting potential danger to dogs are Azaleas, Calla Lilies, Lily-of-the-Valley, and Peace Lilies.
- Ingesting sweet treats containing xylitol can cause harm. Sugar-free candies and gum can contain large amounts of the artificial sweetener xylitol. Xylitol is highly toxic to some dogs and has been found to cause low blood sugar and liver failure.
- Another sweet treat, chocolate, can also be dangerous to our pets. Chocolate, even in the smallest amounts, can cause serious health problems if ingested by a dog. The darker the chocolate, the greater the danger to the dog. Beyond the initial symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, chocolate toxicity can lead to tremors, increased heart rate, heart failure, seizures, and in some cases, can be fatal.
- Holiday decorations can be tempting. Turning holiday decorations and gift wrap into a prized new toy can be a big temptation for curious dogs and cats. Items such as decorative grass, if swallowed, have the potential to become lodged in a pet’s intestinal tract, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, intestinal blockages that call for surgical removal.
- Have a plan for weathering the storm. For many pets, storms can be a stressful experience. You can help your pets manage storm-related anxiety by making sure they are not left alone during a storm, having their pet wear a thundershirt during storms, or talking to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications for pets. During calm weather conditions, it can also be helpful to let your pet explore your pre-determined storm relief area and/or shelter. This will help familiarize your pet with this area, helping relieve and anxiety associated with entering an unfamiliar place during a storm. Having a favorite blanket or toy on hand can also bring comfort.
Even with the best prevention, accidents can happen. If you suspect your pet is having a medical emergency, please contact your family veterinarian or find your nearest MedVet.