Pet Safety Considerations for Late Winter/Early Spring

At Animal Care Clinic of Pingree Grove, we want our patients to steer clear of safety hazards that can turn into emergencies.  Each season has its own unique circumstances that we should prepare for to help minimize certain dangers. Here are some tips to help you deal with late winter and early spring hazards your pet may encounter.

  1. What’s under that melted snow? – While the thought of melting snow is something many people use to mentally survive the final days of winter, it can present some dangers for your pets.  If your pet has access to parts of your yard, it is worth taking a walk-through to search for and dispose of any possible hazards revealed by the melting snow. Some dogs will seemingly eat anything. Anecdotally, it seems as though spring always provides an increase in stomach and intestinal foreign body surgeries.  The things I have removed from dogs’ stomachs are enough to make a billy goat sick! Error on the safe side and remove any random items you think your dog may enjoy. Also, once Fido’s winter “deposits” have thawed, be sure to dispose of them. Intestinal parasites can persist for many months. Removing the source and treating with your dog’s monthly heartworm preventative (i.e. Interceptor) will protect against these nasty intestinal parasites.
  2. Easter Candy – There seems to be no shortage of candy throughout the year, and Easter is no exception.  Dogs don’t tolerate chocolate well so be sure to keep all of those tasty Cadbury Eggs and solid chocolate bunnies out of reach of your furry pooch. Also, many “no-sugar” sweets contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol that can ironically cause your pet’s blood sugar to drop to dangerous levels in addition to causing liver failure.
  3. Easter Lilies – We don’t want to leave out cats in this safety discussion! Essentially all parts of all lilies (true lilies and daylilies) are considered toxic to cats.  Even a relatively minor nibble on part of a plant can lead to acute kidney failure. If you have or plan to get lilies this spring, ensure they are out of reach of your cats.  If you suspect your cat has ingested part of a lily plant, visit Animal Care Clinic promptly for treatment.
  4.  Ticks – Tied for the most annoying insect on planet earth, ticks certainly become active even on seemingly cool days.  A warm patch of sun on an otherwise brisk spring day can mean trouble for any of your pets outdoors. Ticks can transmit a variety of diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Prevention is the key to battling ticks. Regular use of flea and tick preventatives such as Bravecto, in addition to vaccination for Lyme disease are the two best ways we currently have to keep pets safe.

Dr. Jeremy Baitman, DVM

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