Spring Safety for Your Family Pets

Spring is fast approaching, which means new dangers to look out for and be aware of. With spring comes warm weather; no more snow – YAY!  But with all of the road side puddles accumulating they may contain salts and other chemicals used to melt ice. If out walking your pets, be aware that they may become thirsty and take a big gulp out of the puddles. This can be toxic to them and make them very ill.  If need be, carry a water bottle for them to drink out of, and remember to rinse their paws with warm when they get home. Another hazard to be aware of if you are going for walks near rivers, ponds, or lakes is thin ice. Keep a close eye on them if they are off leash.

The warmer weather also results in an increase in visitors to the off-leash dog parks. If you and your furry friend frequent the dog parks, go to any doggy day cares or board your pets, we highly recommend having them dewormed monthly and keep their vaccines up to date, including the kennel cough (Bordetella bacteria) vaccine. Many parasite infections can be easily prevented with either a topical ointment or an easy-to-give flavored pill/treat.

Springtime has one of the best holidays – Easter. Mainly because of all the chocolate! Many adults know chocolate is very dangerous for your pets; however, children do not. Helping to educate your children about the toxic effects of chocolate to their pets will help to keep their treats to themselves. The alternative is to keep your pets away from all the Easter festivities until the chocolate treats are safely put away.

                One of the most dangerous toxins to cats is one contained in all parts of most lilies – including the Easter Lily. It causes severe kidney disease and almost certain death if left untreated for over 18 hours.
Do not put your cat at risk; no lilies in the house – ever! Unfortunately, this is not well known, even to florists. Please spread the word.

Spring cleaning – everyone’s favourite activity! Be mindful of where your pets are and see if there are any hazardous products within in your house or outdoors (e.g. fertilizers, insecticides, antifreeze) that they can get into. Many people will also plant their flower gardens, and although they make your yard look beautiful, there are many different poisonous plants to animals. A few examples are Crocus, Easter Lily (mentioned above), Ferns, Hyacinth, Iris, Rhododendron, Tiger Lily, Tulips, etc. Make sure that if your pet is outside they don’t get into the flower beds and have an afternoon snack. To find out more you can go to the following website or ask your veterinarian:   http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants

Another potential backyard danger is thawing compost or other rotting organic material. These contain mycotoxins which act on the central nervous system. The signs include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors ranging from mild to severe, cardiovascular collapse and potentially death. Be sure your garden in fenced off and your compost is locked up.

For the indoor pets, in particular cats or birds, the biggest concern is getting outside. Before you open your house up to the warm spring breezes make sure that there are no open doors or windows in your home that your pets can escape from.  If your pet does get outside and takes off, an updated identification tag or an implanted microchip with your current contact information can help get them home quickly and safely.

Before you consider yourself all set for the spring, contact the staff at Companion Veterinary Clinic to book your pet's preventive care examination today! 780-439-4353

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