Toxic Easter treats

Easter treats can pose a threat to our pets. Chocolate poisoning causes lots of pet emergencies every year, especially around Easter time when Easter egg hunts mean that chocolate is left lying around for them to find.

Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine which can be deadly to cats and dogs. This is because unlike us, they can’t metabolise theobromine effectively. Different types of chocolate have varying levels of theobromine, with dark chocolate containing more than milk chocolate.

The most common symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Urinating more
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Fitting/seizures

A large dose of chocolate can even induce a coma or death. Symptoms can occur within a few hours to up to a day after ingestion. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, contact your vet immediately.

Other Easter treats should also be kept out of your pet’s reach, including hot cross buns. These fruity buns contain ingredients such as sultanas, raisins, dried fruit, lemon zest and nutmeg, which are all toxic to animals. Easter sweets containing artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol can also be dangerous for pets if ingested and should be kept away from animals.

Easter decorations

Easter decorations can also be hazardous for pets, such as the fake grass and little fluffy chicks that come in Easter baskets. If your pet swallows these, they can get stuck at the back of their throats, or in their stomachs and will not be able to pass through the intestines.

Poisonous plants and flowers

Species of poisonous plants that are common during the springtime include:

  • Lilies
  • Daffodils
  • Azaleas
  • Amaryllis
  • Tulips

Outdoor flowers are one thing, but as many people like to decorate their home with fresh flowers in spring, you should also be mindful of spring bouquets. For example, all parts of Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats, including the petals, leaves, stem and pollen. Ingesting even a small part of this plant can cause severe kidney failure. Before you buy flowers, check that they pose no risk to pets and advise guests to do the same before visiting your house.

If you do happen to notice any signs of poisoning – such as vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea, disorientation or even collapsing – then contact us  immediately.