Family, friends, chocolate and, for some, a four-day weekend – you might be thinking, “what do I need to protect my pet from over Easter?” Unfortunately, there are quite a few potential pet hazards that show up around this time of year. The team at Animal Emergency Service have seen far too many of these hazards result in a pet being admitted to hospital either sick or injured over the Easter break. Read on to make sure that you are informed on the biggest risks your pets might face.
Chocolate
The food that so many humans indulge in at this time of year can unfortunately prove fatal for many dogs and cats if they manage to get their paws on it. This is caused by the chemical theobromine, which causes heart arrhythmias in our precious pets when it is ingested. For this reason, always store your treats out of reach of your pooch or feline friend.
Common symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors and an increase in heart rate, but don’t wait for these to occur. If there’s evidence your pet may have accessed your stash of chocolate, bring them straight to the pet hospital for assessment, taking note of the approximate time it was consumed, the quantity and bringing any samples of the chocolate as well.
Hot cross buns
Another Easter favourite that just doesn’t sit well with your pet pooch. As sultanas, grapes and raisins cause renal failure in dogs, giving your pet a taste of your toasted bun could make them incredibly sick and requires emergency attention. As with suspected chocolate toxicity, be sure to bring them straight to the pet hospital if you believe they have ingested these fruits.
Plastic eggs
If you have Easter decorations at home or young children who are given toy eggs to play with, this is of particular concern. To your pooch, small, plastic eggs appear perfectly treat-sized and look suspiciously like food – but when they eat them, these toys can block their airways or even lodge in their oesophagus or intestines if swallowed. Expensive and serious surgery is often required in this situation, so save yourself the trip to the emergency vet and be sure that these items are stored away from your pet at all times.
Xylitol Sweetener
Many people don’t realise that the sweetener xylitol is highly toxic to pets. As well as chewing gum it is commonly found in many sugar free treats which may be around the home at Easter. It causes a sudden drop in blood sugar and can result in seizuring and can be fatal. Remember, if you believe something is wrong, always bring your little loved one in for an assessment.
As always, AES will happily remain open and hard at work over the Easter break to ensure that pets can be treated for any injuries or sickness that may occur. If you’re unsure of what to do, give your local AES clinic a call and speak to our friendly staff.