Have a Safe Spring
Stephanie Fowler, MLAS, LVMT, RLATg



Since we have just finished with Easter, do you know the top four most common spring dangers for pets? According to the ASPCA, the four most common spring dangers for pets include chocolate, plastic Easter grass, plants, and fertilizers/herbicides.

We all have experience with chocolate. It seems to be more prominent around Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. Chocolate can cause GI upset, pancreatitis, hyperactivity, tachycardia, tremors, and seizures. It is important to remember, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to pets. Please remember to tell owners to bring in the wrappers of what the pets ate and how much. This will allow the doctor to know exactly the harmful potential the patient has ingested.

I have not thought of plastic Easter grass as a potential danger to my pets. However, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy, and stomach pain. This was unfortunately something I experienced with my own pet this Easter holiday. My cat had gotten into the kids’ Easter baskets and vomited Easter grass all day. I was worried about something like a linear foreign body, but all is well. There are suggestions to perhaps use tissue paper instead.

With April showers, May brings pretty flowers. During this time of year, it is the time for lilies to bloom. Therefore, they are popular Easter gifts. Unfortunately, they can cause kidney and GI upset to our feline friends if ingested. Make sure to share information with clients, family and friends with a green thumb to keep kitties clear of the lilies.

Fertilizers and herbicides also become popular this time of year. When the weather starts to become a little warmer, people want to start working on outside flower beds and/or gardens. A lot of animals like to dig or chew on mulch. The effects vary depending on the product, but most products cause clinical signs of drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Remember, a big part of our job is client education. It is important to communicate these concerns to our clients, family and friends as we come together at holiday times. Just gently caution them to be aware of products and plants that their pets can be exposed to. We love to see the pets but hopefully not under these circumstances.