Spring has sprung!

by Anna Tilley RVN SQP

What generally springs to mind when we think of this time of year are cute bunnies, shooting flowers, bouncing lambs and fluffy chicks. However, we also need to remember a few little hidden dangers to our pets out there.

Although the temperatures will only just start to be rising, now is the time to start thinking about flystrike in pet rabbits, checking their back ends daily for any faeces which may attract flies to lay eggs. We often see rabbits after fly eggs have been laid or even when maggots have hatched. By this time, it can be sadly too late to help them. We recommend using preventative treatments such as Rearguard to stop flies laying their eggs.

Daffodils are popping their heads out too, but if pets eat them—particularly the bulbs—they can be toxic. If any part is eaten, you should consult a vet immediately.

You may also have beautiful bunches of flowers around the house but please be aware that lilies are toxic to cats and can prove fatal. They don’t need to directly eat the flowers; simply rubbing against them can cause the pollen to stick to their fur and they will then groom themselves, inadvertently ingesting the toxic pollen. Please keep lilies away from cats and call us immediately if you think your cat could have ingested any part of them.

Spring also brings us Easter—a time typically abundant with chocolate! Please remember chocolate is toxic to pets, particularly dogs. Unfortunately, severe chocolate toxicity can be fatal. It is a good idea to not only keep all chocolate out of the reach of your pets but also to educate children not to leave it lying around and not to ‘share’ their stash with the pets. Our vets are always on hand if you are worried your pet has eaten chocolate; just give us a call any time of day.

Finally, farmers are in the midst of lambing at the moment and any stress can harm both new-born and unborn lambs. Please, please always keep dogs under control on a short lead when walking on footpaths through farmland or even alongside fields with livestock in. If your dog is left uncontrolled amongst livestock, there can be serious consequences for their health and potentially legal action against you as the dog owner.

It is great to see spring is well on its way so keep these dangers in mind and we can all enjoy its wonders safely and happily.

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