2019-03-09 / Community Life

Spring brings hazards for pets

Spring is typically a time of joy for people and pets alike. But we must be cautious. There are many spring threats that can be toxic to pets.

Bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths can be toxic to both dogs and cats, which doesn’t stop them from digging where the bulbs are planted. While cats are less likely to bother with the bulbs if they unearth them, dogs may find them an excellent play toy or even snack.

Hyacinths, hydrangea, carnations, lilies and poinsettias all have some toxicity if ingested by animals. Fertilizers can also be harmful, causing reactions from gastrointestinal distress to death.

Apple stems, leaves and seeds contain cyanide. Onions, chives and leeks should also be kept away from pets. Consumption of these plants can lead to digestive disturbance and shortness of breath. Symptoms may not appear immediately, so it may be wise to get your pet to a veterinarian immediately if it has consumed these plants.

Mushrooms, even those that are edible to humans, can cause illness in pets. While most pets eat grass, be on guard for grass that may have chemicals on it.

Finally, springtime brings insects. For the most part, your dog or cat chowing on a bug or two will not hurt a thing. If you pet is eating lots of bugs though, it’s best to make him stop. Too many bugs can cause digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.

I had a cat that was thrilled with all of the “ladybugs” (Asian beetles) in the house last year and he would chase and eat them, but I was not thrilled with cleaning up the aftermath.

While we don’t get a lot of poisonous spiders in our area, there is always that one exception.

Of course, as unpredictable as our weather is, we may be under a foot of snow by the time this column is published and few of us will be thinking of spring.

‘Til next time, take care of those you love . . . even those with fur, feathers, fins or scales.

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