Spring Time Pet Hazards

Spring time is the season of Easter, spring cleaning, home improvement projects, gardening, bugs and pesticides. The doctors and staff at Yakima Pet Emergency Service want to remind you that many of these things can bring potential harm to your pets. Here are some of the things that you can watch for during the spring season.

10 Tips to Keeping Pets Safe:

  1. Easter Treats and Decorations. These things can be very toxic to our pets, from true lilies to chocolate candies. True Lilies can be fatal if it is ingested by a cat. Puppies and kitties love to chew on colorful plastic decorations, which can lead to a foreign body obstruction in the body.  Chocolate or candy containing Xylitol are toxic to dogs and cats. 
  2. Buckle Up. We know that dogs love to feel the wind in their faces but this can be harmful to them. Flying debris and insects can cause harm to your dog's eyes, ears, and even develop lung infections. Whenever riding in a car or pickup truck, pets should be secured in case of an accident, sharp turns, and to prevent them from jumping from the vehicle. 
  3. Spring Cleaning. Many chemicals and cleaners can be harmful to your pets if ingested. You can visit the ASPCA website for a list of Poisonous Household Products, or to get more information or visit our common household toxins page.
  4. Home Improvement. After the winter, the weather begins to clear up and we begin to remodel our homes, paint, or do other renovations. Paints, solvents, and other material can be toxic to our pets, while others such as nails, power tools, staples, etc. can pose physical harm to our pets. Keep these items picked up and out of reach of your canine and feline friends.
  5. Tick, Tick. As the weather clears up brings many insects and pests to life. Ticks can be harmful to your pets. It is important to speak to your veterinarian about the appropriate flea and tick treatment plan for your pet, as many over the counter products available are toxic. Tick and flea control can keep them safe from possible diseases these pests can transfer to your pet and even to you. Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Periodic Tick Paralysis and other diseases are a few that can harm your pet. 
  6. Allergies. Just like humans, pets can be allergic to items like food, dust, plants, pollens, bee stings, and insect bites. The symptoms can be itching, facial swelling, hives, sneezing, wheezing, or collapse from anaphylactic shock which can be life threatening.
  7. Gardening Fertilizers. according to the Pet Poison Control Hotline, most fertilizers contain a wide variety of potentially toxic substances. These range from iron, nitrogen, and pesticides. If the chemicals don't poison your pet, large amounts of the fertilizers and mulch, can result in other emergencies such as an obstruction or pancreatic situations.
  8. Metaldehyde (Slug Bait). No one enjoys slugs in their gardens but slug bait can have major risks to dogs and cats. Metaldehyde is a poison that is typically in these products and it tastes sweet to pets. For full list of symptoms follow the link to a Toxicology Brief from Linda K. Dodler, DVM, ASPCA.
  9. Snakes. Snakes pose a large threat to our pets here in the Yakima Valley. There are 20 different species of venomous snakes in North America, the Western Rattlesnake is very common in Yakima County and can be fatal to your dog if they are bitten. A rattlesnake can strike the distance of more than half their body length, which is 18 inches to 4 feet by maturity. Be careful and watchful outdoors, rattlesnakes don't always warn you first with a rattle of their tail.
  10. Ivermectin. Although sometimes used in small doses to kill parasites in dogs, it can be toxic to dogs if given an excessive dose. It is important to discuss administration, dosing, and proper instructions as directed from your veterinarian. Never medicate at home on your own. Horse dewormers often contain Ivermectin in a larger concentration and should never be consumed in any amount by your dogs or cats, so keep horse products out of reach.