Easter Holiday Safety Tips

The Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary team wishes you and your family a safe, joy-filled Easter! It is important to keep in mind that the holiday celebration represents a number of potential dangers to pets.

Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats, all parts of this plant are poisonous and even a small amount can result in fatal kidney failure. Symptoms of lily poisoning develop six to 12 hours following ingestion and increase in severity as time goes on. If you suspect your cat may have been exposed to Easter lilies, please call us immediately at 503-427-9148.

Many Easter candies contain chocolate which can be poisonous to dogs. Be careful to keep chocolate out of your pet’s reach. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and in rare cases, death.

Another pet hazard commonly found in sugar-free candy and gum is xylitol, a sugar substitute, which even in small amounts can be fatal in dogs. Ingestion of xylitol can result in a dramatic drop in blood sugar as well as severe liver damage. The first symptom is often vomiting with signs of hypoglycemia (lethargy and weakness) and possible seizures. If you believe your dog has eaten a xylitol-containing product, regardless of amount please call us or the emergency veterinarian immediately.

Easter grass, the thin plastic grass found in Easter baskets and other decorations, is inedible to both cats and dogs. Similar to Christmas tree tinsel or string, plastic grass will not be digested and may get stuck in the intestinal tract, possibly leading to a blockage or injury. As with any foreign items that get stuck in the stomach or intestine, the first symptoms will be vomiting and lack of appetite.