Easter is just around the corner! The holiday brings happy thoughts of Spring along with some new items into the home that my pose risks for your pets. Here are some of the common potential hazards of Easter that should be kept out of your pet’s reach.

  1. Chocolate!

We all love it – and though it’s not a healthy treat for us, the caffeine-like portion of chocolate cause serious toxicity when ingested by dogs. Clinical signs include vomiting and diarrhea, to more serious signs like agitation and pacing from fast heart rates and cardiac arrhythmias, to neurologic signs likes tremors and seizures. Dark chocolate, cocoa or baker’s chocolate are the most concerning, but even small amounts of any chocolate can cause clinical signs in some dogs.

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, binding toxins with activated charcoal and IV fluids and monitoring of cardiac and neurologic function. Call us right away if you suspect your pet has gotten into chocolate and we can help you make the best medical decisions for your pet.

  1. Easter Lilies

They are beautiful to look at and definitely invoke excitement for spring, but even a small piece of  a leaf or simply licking some pollen can cause life-threatening kidney failure in cats.  Easter lilies along with the other lilies of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species, commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies, are extremely toxic to cats. See Dr. Justine Lee’s article (http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-toxins-poisons/easter-lily-poisoning-cats) for more information on the specific types of flowers to avoid. The most concerning part of this toxicity is that we often don’t see clinical signs on the outside – things like vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, staggering – until the toxic effects have cause serious and often irreparable damage to the kidneys. Attempts at treatment require several days of hospitalization for aggressive IV fluids to try to save the kidneys, but the prognosis is guarded even with this level of care.

Call us right away if you suspect your cat has had any contact with any part of a lily plant. Better yet – keep your house free of lilies and enjoy some lovely daisies or violets instead!


  1. Easter Baskets – Easter grass and plastic eggs

Plastic Easter grass is very tempting to cats to chew on and swallow. This can cause a serious condition called a linear foreign body where a portion of the grass becomes entrapped within the mouth or intestinal tract. As the body attempts to move the string along and it can cause life threatening damage to the intestinal tract requiring emergency surgery. Similarly, plastic eggs filled with chocolate are frequently ingested by dogs this time of year. They can also cause severe intestinal damage or blockages in dogs. Call us right away if your dog or cat is vomiting, not eating, or is lethargic. If it is suspected foreign material was ingested, we will recommend an exam and x-rays to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract. Opt for small folder paper decorative lining instead. And keep the baskets up and out of your dog’s reach.


Your pets will be naturally curious about the new and exciting decorations brought into the house during the holiday. Keep them out of their reach and opt for safer choices for decorations to keep everyone safe and healthy this Easter season! Call us with any questions or concerns. Happy Spring!

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