Easter and Spring holiday season signifies new beginnings, rebirth, and odd little marshmallow creatures in unnatural colors. But, Easter and the associated season can also mean pet hazards lurking in the green plastic grasses of even the most beautiful Easter baskets (and even the green plastic grasses in the baskets can be hazardous to cats!).

It is commonplace after the Easter holiday for us to see Chocolate toxicities. These can vary from simple upset stomach to severe tachycardia, hypertension, seizures, and even death. Chocolate toxicity varies greatly both on type of chocolate ingested as well as size of the animal. If your 145-pound St. Bernard snags 3-4 M&M’s from your toddler, chances are you will never notice any side effect. However, if they family Chihuahua grabs a piece of baker’s chocolate that is dropped while baking holiday treats you are certain to see severe problems! Of course, should your pet ingest any chocolate you should consult your veterinarian for advice!

My worst fear around this holiday season is the beautiful Easter Lily. This is such a common gift and household staple this time of year, however it can be disastrous for your feline companions. Every single part of the plant can be toxic. The leaves, stem, and petals all pose serious risk to your cat’s health. Even small amounts of pollen can cause life-threatening medical issues to your pet! The damage is done to kitty’s kidneys and death can ensue in as little as 48 hours.

Lily toxicosis can be treatable if caught early enough. Typically, if treatment can be instituted in under 18 hours it is possible to reverse the damage done. However, if treatment is delayed past that time frame the chance of effective treatment drops exponentially as the hours progress. The best medicine for lilies and cats is keep them separated. If you own a cat do not bring Easter Lilies into the home!

Easter baskets are awesome. However, fake plastic grasses and small toys can provide risks to both cats and dogs. Plastic grass in Easter baskets serves as fodder for some of the best feline foreign body surgeries! I always know Easter has come and passed when I remove Easter grass from a kitty’s GI tract!

In short Easter and Spring is a wonderful time of year but can include certain household hazards for your pets. Taking simple precautions are key in avoiding unwanted trips to your veterinarian. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…

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