8 Common Spring Pet Toxins

8 Common Spring Pet Toxins

By Dr Jennifer at Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital

Pets in Spring

1.  Lilies (Easter lily and other Lily plants)

Lilies are HIGHLY toxic to cats.  All parts of these pretty flowers are toxic to cats and can lead to kidney failure resulting in death.  There are many other plants and flowers that are toxic to our furry family members so if you are not sure if your plants and flowers are safe, keep them away from your pets. Visit www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.aspx for a searchable plant database.

2.  Easter Grass

Cats (and some dogs) love to play with this pretty “grass” but it can be very dangerous if eaten.  It can easily become stuck in the intestines requiring emergency surgery to remove it.  If you have pets, don’t use Easter Grass in your Easter baskets.

3.  Chocolate

Chocolate is very dangerous for our puppy pals.  There are two ingredients (caffeine and theobromine) that are toxic and these ingredients are present in varying amounts in different types of chocolate.  Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are the most dangerous. 

4.  Xylitol

This artificial sweetener is used in many sugar free candies and baked goods.  It is VERY dangerous for dogs and can be fatal if eaten in even small amounts.

5.  Lawn and Garden Herbicides and Pesticides

Spring is a common time to treat our yards to help control weeds and insects but keeping our yards pretty may harm our pets.  Dogs and cats can become ill from exposure to some of these products.  If possible, try to avoid using herbicides and pesticides or use non-toxic alternatives.

6.  Snail and Slug Bait (Metaldehyde)

Many people use this to help remove snails and slugs from their yards but it is very toxic to dogs even in small doses.  The “bait” is made into pellets (which dogs often readily eat) liquids and powders (which dogs often lick off their paws).  Toxic symptoms occur quickly resulting in seizures, high body temperature and even death. 

7.  Flea and Tick Treatments

Fleas and ticks are a major concern in our area but some of the treatments can also be concerning.  It is very important to use APPROPRIATE flea and tick preventatives on your pets to keep them safe.  Be sure you are using a product we recommend at Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital at the correct dose and NEVER use dogs products on cats (they can be deadly).

8.  Household Cleaners

Be sure when you are starting your “spring cleaning” your pets are safely put away or you are using cleaners that are labeled as being safely used around pets.  Remember cats and dogs will lick cleaners off their feet and that can be very dangerous.

If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call at (865)691-8387!

Leave a Reply