Spring is beautiful, warmer weather, lighter days, more time spent outside… However, there is more to it.
In spring, pet emergencies increase by 33% as worried pet owners battle with the unexpected dangers of this season.
Here some hazards you should be aware of now that Spring is on its way:
Dogs love spending time in gardens and parks, so we must watch out for poisonous plants.
Highly toxic species common at this time of year include Lilies, Daffodils, Bluebells and Azaleas.
Other spring flowers, such as Crocuses and Tulips, are considered to be less toxic but ask for veterinary advice if you think your pet has eaten them.
Dogs who eat Ivy (Hedera helix) generally develop drooling, vomiting or diarrhoea. In the most severe cases, you may also notice blood in the vomit or faeces. Contact with Ivy can cause skin reactions, conjunctivitis, itchiness, and skin rashes.
We know something about it! Pepper stepped on some Ivy last spring and he developed very itchy skin on all four of his paws; nothing too serious luckily, everything went back to normal with some antihistaminic. But wherever possible, it’s always best to avoid it!
(Note: Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans) is a different plant and only grows in Asia and North America).
This is another big cause of pet emergencies. Dogs who have a propensity for eating long grass or decorative grasses run the risk of getting the blades stuck in their nose and throat. This can cause breathing problems, coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite and nasal discharge.
The common European Adder (Vipera berus) is the only venomous snake local to the UK. Adults are around 50-60cm long and are identified by a black or brown zigzag pattern along their back and a V-shaped marking on the back of their head. They are commonly found on dry, sandy heaths, dunes, rocky hillsides, moorland and woodland edges.
Just like people, dogs can develop allergies to plants, pollens, grasses, and many other substances in springtime. Allergies in pets normally appear as itchy skin and ear problems, accompanied by hair loss or inflamed skin. Some pets will even change their behaviour due to irritation. Some will suffer respiratory signs or runny eyes.
Dogs often like to chase and play with wasps and bees and can be stung.
If your dog is stung in or near the mouth or neck then you may need to seek veterinary help. Pets, like humans, can be allergic or become allergic to stings. Signs include swellings, distress and breathing difficulties.
Slug and Snail Pellets (Metaldehyde)
Make sure your garden is safe and be careful if you need to use any slug and snail pellets, pesticides or other chemicals. A toxic compound contained in most slug and snail pellets is Metaldehyde and eating even small amounts of it can cause significant poisoning. Your dog will need urgent veterinary treatment if he ingests any.
Always be aware of what surrounds your little friend, enjoy your time outside but keep an attentive eye!
Happy Spring ♡