Above / The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association is urging pet owners to protect playful little puppies and beloved furry family members during the upcoming holidays. (PN file photo)
As the Easter and Passover holidays approach in the middle of the month, many families plan to take advantage of special holiday traditions that highlight various foods and materials that can be hazardous to pet health. The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) wants pet owners to be aware of the potential dangers and take steps to keep their pets safe at home.
Keep common vacation items away from pets
• Easter lily plant – the petals, leaves, stem and pollen are toxic to cats and can cause acute kidney failure. Early signs of lily toxicity include lethargy, drooling, vomiting, or loss of appetite within 12 hours of ingestion.
• Chocolate – caffeine and the compound methyl xanthine found in chocolate are harmful to dogs. The highest amounts are found in dark chocolate, bakery chocolate, cocoa powder and can cause digestive upset, abnormal heartbeat and seizures and life-threatening.
• Xylitol – found in sugar-free candies and baked goods, can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs and ferrets.
• Grapes/raisins – found in many baked goods, can cause kidney failure in dogs.
• Ham, lamb, chicken and steak bones may be dangerous and pose a choking hazard to pets, resulting in intestinal obstruction or gastrointestinal upset.
• plastic easter grass – it can entangle your pet’s tongue or stomach, leading to possible obstruction or choking hazard.
According to Dr. Kirsten Plomin, Chair of the CVMA Board of Directors, “If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items, you are unsure of a problem your pet is experiencing or your pet is in obvious distress, an immediate call to your veterinarian is your best course of action. Although not all situations involving the ingestion of a particular food or object are dangerous for your pet, many are potentially very serious or life-threatening.
Finally, Easter is a time when people like to surprise children with a new pet like a rabbit, puppy or kitten. Unfortunately, many unwanted rabbits are brought to shelters soon after Easter, according to Ray McGury, CEO of the CVMA.
“Owning a pet requires foresight and commitment, and it doesn’t make a great gift choice,” McGury noted. “If your family is considering adopting a pet, it’s best to do so after careful consideration and confirmation that everyone is OK with adding a new family member. You want to make sure that you can be there for your new best friend for life.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association is a professional network with a long tradition that connects more than 1,000 veterinarians to comprehensive resources that support their continued development as champions of animal health while encouraging the promotion of human-animal bonding.
Established in 2009, the Chicago Veterinary Medical Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that works with Chicagoland veterinarians to provide financial assistance to pet families in need by helping with emergency medical and surgical expenses. and unexpected from their animal. The Foundation’s work plays a vital role in strengthening the human-animal bond by helping sick and suffering animals recover.
For more information, visit www.chicagovma.org.