The Pet of the Month made a magical appearance into the Larson family’s lives.
photo courtesy of Larson Family

The Pet of the Month made a magical appearance into the Larson family’s lives.

photo courtesy of Larson Family

Spring is one of the best seasons of the year. It is a time of rebirth and a time to start anew. 

Easter is a springtime holiday. Homes are decorated with beautiful floral arrangements, and many children await the Easter Bunny to bring them brilliantly beribboned, overstuffed baskets. It is important to address the potential dangers to your pets during this holiday. 

 

Springtime hazards

Keep in mind that while certainly some pets have a stronger tendency to get into off-limit items, all have the potential. If you are concerned that your pets have ingested any of the following, please contact your veterinarian immediately:

Easter grass — These brightly colored, plastic strings can be very hazardous to cats and dogs. While dogs may just see it as something to munch on, cats see these strings as very enticing play toys. If they were to ingest pieces of Easter grass, it can potentially create a linear foreign body. 

A linear foreign body is usually the length of a string or yarn. One end lodges in the stomach or small intestine, and the other end continues to travel through the intestines. This can cause the material to tightly stretch and cause the intestines to “accordion” on themselves. 

The first signs you usually witness are vomiting or straining to defecate. Sometimes a cat will have a painful abdomen. 

Some of the time, you may see the material visible from the mouth or the anus. Never attempt to pull on these strings, as this can cause further damage if the pieces are long and trapped inside the body. 

•Easter lily — While these flowers are gorgeous and give off a glorious, heady scent, they are highly toxic to cats. 

If your cat ingests these plants, it will usually exhibit signs of vomiting and lethargy. In untreated cases, the ingestion may lead to renal (kidney) failure and possible death. 

Daffodils are also toxic to cats.

Chocolate — Everybody loves receiving chocolate bunnies in their baskets. Curious dogs enticed by the rich smell also love them. This can be a bad combination since chocolate is toxic to dogs. 

The toxic components of chocolate are caffeine and thebromine. The level of toxicity to dogs is based on the quantity of chocolate consumed and the size of the dog. Dark and baker’s chocolate has the highest concentration; white chocolate has the least. 

Early signs of chocolate toxic ingestion are most often vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, trembling.

Xylitol — This ingredient is used in many candies and chewing gums. It is potentially toxic to dogs.

Fertilizers and chemicals — The occasional sunshine gives eager gardeners the chance to dig their fingers into the damp soil this time of year and get their yards in tip-top shape. Many animals love to lounge in the sun, roll around in the grass or even “help” in the garden by digging. 

Lawn and garden herbicides and pesticides are not intended for animal use and can be potentially deadly, so allow proper drying time of the products before releasing your pets outside to be in contact with treated plants and grass. 

Fertilizer is especially hazardous, so if you are unable to keep your pet out of the grass during this time, thoroughly wipe their paws after being outside, and watch to make sure they don’t eat any treated grass. 

You may consider using organic alternatives for pest and weed control that are environmentally safe for all.

 

Pet of the Month

One day, a 5-year-old neighbor boy came over to the Larsons’ yard with his magic wand while they were doing yard work. 

The Larsons suggested that he use his wand to knock off the yellow leaves, as it was the end of the season. The boy thought that was a great idea, as they came off easily. It wasn’t long after he and his wand were in full force, removing the older foliage, when they all heard a soft meow. They heard it again, just before a very small, golden kitten emerged from the bushes. 

The Larson’s asked the child magician, “Where did the kitten come from?” His response: “It came out of my wand. It’s Magic!”

While amazed at the coincidence, they had no interest in adopting another cat as they already had two. They offered the kitten to the boy, but he said, “No, I just do magic.” 

Only later did the Larsons learn that their next-door neighbor had found the kitten and called the Humane Society to have him picked up. When they arrived to collect him, they discovered that the tiny kitten had vanished, only to be a part of an impromptu magic show.

From that day forward, Magic, as he was called, became an integral part of the Larson family.

 

MEGAN L. FOUCH is the office manager for Madison Park Veterinary Hospital (www.madisonparkvet.com).