Easter eggs (real or fake): Plastic egg shards, if ingested, can cause choking, GI irritation, and/or intestinal blockage, which sometimes requires surgery. If forgotten and later consumed, real eggs can spoil and cause GI upset.
Chocolate: Theobromine and caffeine in cocoa causes hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, elevated heart rate and seizures. If your pet gets into the Easter chocolate, call us immediately, with as much information about the type of chocolate (milk, dark, semisweet, baker's, etc.) ingested as possible.
Easter grass: Plastic Easter grass cannot be digested by pets, which means that, if consumed, it can get stuck in the GI tract and wreak havoc. Signs to look out for include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy and stomach pain. A safer, more eco-friendly alternative for Easter baskets is colored tissue paper.
Xylitol: Found in gum, candy and peanut butters, the artificial sweetener can cause seizures, reduce blood sugar levels and cause liver failure. If ingested, call us immediately.
Easter flowers: The leaves, flowers, stem and pollen of Easter Lilies are poisonous and can cause acute kidney failure in cats, which can be fatal. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite and lethargy. Other toxic spring/Easter flowers to avoid include Daffodils, Azaleas, Bluebells, Tulips, Calla Lilies, Hyacinths, Lily-of-the-Valley and Peace Lilies.
Candy wrappers: Ingested wrappers, foils and lollipop sticks can lead to choking and/or intestinal blockage, as well as, more rarely, poisoning.
While the price can vary, depending on your location, according to the American Heartworm Society, heartworm preventives can cost as little as $10 a month for a dog, while treatment can cost more than $1,000. Not to mention the stress on you and your best friend, should they become infected! If you're trying to make every dollar stretch, especially right now, it just makes cents!
If your dog hasn't been tested within the past year, or they've been off preventives for a few months, give us a call to schedule a test! It only takes 10 minutes and three drops of blood, but adds to the quality of your pet's years immensely!
As any cat owner stepping on one in the dim light of the wee hours well knows, a hairball is a (generally) small collection of hair that collects in a cat’s stomach.
When cats groom themselves, the barbs on their tongues catch loose or dead hair, which they swallow. Most of this hair passes through them and makes it out the other end, but, if some of it gets lodged in the stomach, the cat will vomit it up to remove it from their system.
Wild cats roamed about, passing hairballs wherever they pleased, until around 7500 B.C. - when people in the Near East began domesticating them by bringing them into their homes, feeding them and caring for them.
Fast forward to today, when 95 million cats are owned in the U.S. alone and hairballs left in prime locations are a real concern.
If your cat will tolerate brushing (some even enjoy the activity!), brushing them regularly will help reduce the amount of hair they ingest, and thus the amount of hairballs you're stepping in.
You can also try petroleum-based cat treats, such as Laxatone, to help lubricate their system and keep the hair moving.
Adding fiber to your cat's diet is another way to help them pass more of the hair they ingest. You'll want to pick up plain, unflavored psyllium husk fiber powder, which can be found at a natural foods store or online. Because it is a powder, the fiber will need to be mixed with moist food before giving. Check with your cat's doctor about how much to give before starting a fiber regimen.
If hairballs are a problem for your cat, talk with one of our veterinarians about it at your next appointment. Your feet will thank you!