Our knowledgeable volunteer, Amy Louise, has put together this post, full of information for our KGR visitors, about some Easter treats and flowers that could be particularly harmful to dogs! Read on to find out all….
With Easter just around the corner and the shops stocking an abundance of yummy Easter eggs, most of us know that the most common toxicity in dogs is CHOCOLATE!
It is the theobromine ingredient in chocolate that poses a very real risk to dogs, with dark chocolate containing the highest percentage per gram. Milk chocolate is also very dangerous but does contain slightly less theobromine than dark. Theobromine is a chemical similar to caffeine and can cause the following symptoms; vomiting and diarrhoea, hyper-excitability, shaking / wobbliness / twitching, weakness / collapse and convulsions. If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, contact your vet ASAP for advice and take the wrapper with you if you are advised to take your dog to the practice.
RAISINS / GRAPES / SULTANAS
Other toxins to avoid this Easter are HOT CROSS BUNS! These contain sultanas and raisins all of which can cause kidney damage in dogs and potentially other animals too. The toxic mechanism is not understood and the quantity that can cause problems seems to be variable. Some dogs have eaten large amounts and developed no effects, while others have gone into kidney failure after ingesting a small number of raisins or grapes. Again contact your vet ASAP if your dog has eaten grapes, raisins or sultanas.
Pretty spring flowers like Daffodils (Narcissus) are also toxic to dogs with all parts of the flower being toxic, including the bulbs. The toxic compounds in the plants are called glycosides and alkaloids, with the bulbs containing the highest concentrations of these chemicals. Symptoms of toxicity include; drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea, increased heart rate, abdominal pain and lethargy. If ingested, contact your vet ASAP for advice – if treated promptly, most dogs / cats can make a full recovery.
And finally XYLITOL toxicity has been on the increase in dogs in the past few years. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener which is used in many sugar free sweets, treats and chewing gum. 1-2 pieces of sugar free gum can cause toxic effects in dogs which include; low blood sugar resulting in weakness and collapse, vomiting, convulsions, liver damage and coma. The prognosis is good in dogs who are treated promptly and whose blood sugar levels can be stabilised quickly. Contact your vet ASAP if you think your dog has ingested Xylitol.
For further information on all things toxic check out the Veterinary poisons information service (VPIS) website: https://vpisglobal.com/
Amy Louise – KGR Volunteer