A CHIPPENHAM veterinary practice is warning owners to be extra vigilant in the lead up to Easter as they prepare for an increase in the number of pet emergencies.
Hale Veterinary Group expects to see a rise in the number of poorly pets who have eaten something they shouldn’t have in the run up to Easter.
Easter eggs, sweets and hot cross buns may be tempting treats but they are potentially fatal if eaten by pets.
Easter is the second busiest time of year after Christmas for cases of chocolate poisoning. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to pets, and even small amounts can cause heart problems, hyper excitability and fits.
Raisins in hot cross buns can be deadly to pets, while the traditional Easter Sunday dinner can cause problems with gastroenteritis or choking on bones.
Lilies are poisonous to cats and daffodil, crocus and tulip bulbs are toxic to dogs.
Hale Vets veterinary nurse Karen Ward said: “Whether it’s caused by well-meaning owners treating their pets with chocolate or chocolate accidentally left within their reach, we see a lot of dogs suffering from chocolate poisoning at this time of year.
“The higher the level of cocoa in the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, so the darker the chocolate, the greater the risk. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, and can lead to seizures and cardiac failure.
“Some sweets contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is toxic to pets.
“The safest option is to keep chocolate and sweets locked away, well out of reach of pets.
“While it’s tempting to give your pet some of your traditional Easter roast, turkey and lamb are rich and fatty and can increase the risk of pancreatitis or gastroenteritis. Cooked meat bones can also cause choking, a blockage or perforate the intestine.
“Even the most well behaved pets can be tempted to steal food so make sure they can’t get access to the tops of cookers or kitchen worktops.”
Hale Vets is urging owners to contact their local surgery if they suspect their pet has eaten anything toxic.
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