March 20th is the first day of Spring, bringing with it longer days, warmer (we hope) temperatures and Spring flowers.
With Easter around the corner, it's important to note that Lilies are highly toxic to cats. The leaves, pollen and flower of lily plants can make your cat extremely sick and can even be fatal. Some signs of lily toxicity are loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy and liver failure.
According to the ASPCA, some varieties of lilies are also toxic to dogs and include lily of the valley, calla lily, peace lily or palm lily (which is the houseplant Dracaena). Dogs who have ingested these lilies may experience stomach upset, tremors and depression.
A few other popular Spring blooms are also dangerous. These include Daffodils (otherwise known as paper whites, narcissus or jonquils), Tulips and Azaleas. Daffodils and Tulips contain poisonous alkaloids that can cause drooling, intense vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea and heart problems. If the leaves of the Azaleas are ingested, they can cause loss of appetite, stomach upset, weakness, leg paralysis, central nervous system depression, cardiovascular collapse and death.
If you suspect your pet has plant/flower toxicity, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Pay careful attention to the type of plants/flowers you bring indoors or plant outside. There are a number of attractive plants that are non-toxic to pets. Consider African Violet, Rose, Begonia or Easter Daisy, to name just a few.
Tis the season! As the baking, decorating, shopping and making merry comes full swing, be mindful of potentially unsafe escapades your furry friends can get into during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Be careful that your "people" treats such as chocolate, candy, nuts, raisins, cranberries and grapes (to name just a few) don't become "pet" treats. Whether something is dropped on the floor or that family friend just can't help "sharing" her plate of holiday goodies with your pet, watch what your pet ingests.
Decorating with fresh greens? Be aware of holiday plants and trees that are toxic to both dogs and cats including: Holly, Mistletoe (and the berries), Amaryllis, Christmas Rose and Norfolk Island Pine.
Mind those tree ornaments! Pets don't understand that the ball hanging from the tree is glass and not rubber and s/he may bat it down or try to fetch it. Either way, it could spell disaster and an emergency trip to the vet if s/he walks in broken glass or worse, ingests it. Even unbreakable or fabric tree decorations can tempt a pet who may view these items as food or nice bits of clothing to chew on. (Some dogs have a fascination with socks, others with crocheted snowflake ornaments...but that's a story for another day.)
If you believe your pet has ingested something dangerous/poisonous, contact your veterinarian immediately or Animal Poison Control Center http://www.aspca.org/Home/Pet-care/poison-control.aspx.
Happy Holidays to all of our furry friends and pet parents!