Many of us here in Louisville, Kentucky will be celebrating the Easter holiday this coming weekend.  Here at Dogwood Veterinary Clinic, we want to keep this time as safe as possible for your pets so we can all enjoy the holiday! Below, we’re listing some popular Easter items that can be harmful to your pets and ways to keep them safe and healthy through the holiday.

Easter Grass

The first item on our list is Easter grass, it is generally used to decorate Easter baskets filled with candy, eggs, and toys. Although the grass is visually appealing to people, it can also spark curiosity in our pets!  It’s very important to keep an eye on Easter baskets with fake grass as it is indigestible if consumed. The string-like shape of the grass can cause a linear foreign body. These foreign bodies are particularly dangerous as it can cause the bowel to plicate around the object. This can potentially lead to rupture of the bowel and sepsis. A linear foreign body is a surgical emergency.  Signs that your pet may have a foreign body include vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in appetite, and lethargy.

Chocolate

Who doesn’t love enjoying a sweet and delicious chocolate treat on Easter Sunday? While there are many different options of chocolate eggs and bunnies for people to choose from, these treats are  toxic to both cats and dogs. When ingested in large amounts, chocolate can cause gastrointestinal upset, cardiac arrhythmias and unwanted stimulation to the nervous system resulting in tremors and seizures. If a very large amount of cocoa is ingested, it can be fatal. Dark chocolate has higher amounts of cocoa and is more dangerous than milk chocolate. If you know your dog has eaten any kind of chocolate please contact a veterinarian quickly, it is best to induce emesis (make your pet vomit) before there are clinical signs present. 

Easter Lilies 

For families with cats, it’s very important to know that some Easter flowers can pose a huge risk to our feline friends. The Easter Lily, as well as many other types of lilies, are very dangerous and can even be fatal if ingested by cats as it causes acute kidney failure. Although lily poisoning doesn’t cause kidney failure in dogs, it can cause gastrointestinal upset. Given the high risk that comes with these flowers, having them in your kitty-friendly home is strongly discouraged. It’s also important to be mindful of any new plants or flowers you may introduce into your home if you have pets! 

Small Toys & Goodies

Easter baskets are filled with plastic eggs, toys, and other small goodies a dog could get into. Though these items may be small, they can cause big problems! Ingesting a small toy could lead to choking or a gastrointestinal blockage that may need to be surgically treated by a veterinarian. To keep this from happening, it’s best to keep all Easter baskets off the floor and out of your pet’s reach! If you believe your pet has gotten into one of these items and is showing signs of lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting, having diarrhea, or simply not acting like their usual self, please contact us. We hope this helps you keep your pets safe during the upcoming holiday. We wish all of our friends in Louisville, Prospect, and Crestwood, Kentucky a Happy Easter from Dogwood Vet Clinic!