Easter is a great time of year. Spring is here, the weather is getting nice and the time has changed. For Christians this is a season of celebration and renewal. But this can also be dangerous time of year for pets.
Easter lilies, which are commonly sold this time of year, can be very toxic to cats. The newest flier from the local Kroger stores in Chestnut Mountain and Gainesville have Easter lilies on sale. I am sure there are numerous stores in Oakwood selling them. In fact, any of the true lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis spp.), including the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Japanese Show and Easter lilies cause the same problems.
The worst effect is kidney failure. A recent study by the Animal Poison Control Center, involving 57 cats, showed that 5% of the cats had permanent kidney damage and 5% were put to sleep because of renal failure. This study showed that 93% of the cats had received prompt veterinary care.
Other signs attributed to lily exposure were vomiting, not eating, lethargy and death. The exact mechanism of is not known and very small amounts, ingesting two or three petals or leaves, can possibly result in kidney failure. And the ASPCA Poison Control Center lists the Easter lily as non-toxic to dogs.
Another problem seen frequently at Easter is chocolate toxicity in dogs and cats. All those chocolate bunnies and eggs make it easier for pets to get them. Dogs are more often seen with this toxicity, but cats can be affected.
Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures and possible death. Toxicity depends on the type of chocolate involved. Dark chocolate is worse than milk chocolate, and baking chocolate is worse than dark chocolate. It can take several days for the chocolate to work its way out of a dog’s system. If treated early, a dog may have vomiting induced and so get the chocolate out of its system. Otherwise, it can take several days of hospitalization to control the symptoms.
There is an interesting interactive chart on National Geographic website which shows how much of each type of chocolate is toxic to different sizes of dogs:
The following chart is taken from an article at veterinarypartner.com at this address:
This will give you an idea of how much of each type of chocolate can be toxic:
As we celebrate Easter, just remember to keep the chocolate and lilies away from our pets.