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Easter precautions for pets

Easter lilies are toxic to cats.
Easter lilies are toxic to cats.
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Easter is a fun holiday for all your family members - a positive spiritual experience, candy for the children and a celebration of spring with bright colors and bright flowers. Unfortunately, some of those Easter traditions can lead to problems for your pets.

Spring flowers, especially the bulb varieties that bloom early, bring smiles to everyone. While they are traditional Easter blooms, avoid lilies. This is extremely important if you own any cats. A seasonal update from the FDA, released on April 14 emphasizes the dangers of lilies for cats. The white trumpet shaped Easter lily leads the list of dangerous lilies, but Japanese show lilies, Tiger lilies, Asiatic lilies and Day lilies are all toxic to a cat. Simply licking the pollen from these lilies can cause fatal kidney failure in your feline friend.

Cats who chew on the leaves, blooms or pollen from the dangerous lilies will show vomiting as the first sign of trouble. Generally within a day, the first signs of kidney failure will appear. Cats who have eaten lilies quickly progress from urinating a great deal to not producing any urine. Death generally follows. If you catch your cat around a lily, contact your veterinarian immediately. You may be directed to induce vomiting and then should bring the cat to the clinic for fluids to help reduce the damage to the kidneys. Better yet, skip the lilies on the table this year!

While dogs tend to be resistant to the toxicity of lilies, dogs can suffer from another Easter tradition - the Easter candies. Most families are aware that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. Many of the other Easter candies such as jelly beans contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Xylitol is also common in many flavored gums and baked goods, including the cupcakes that are so prevalent for Easter meals. .

Dogs who eat xylitol rapidly drop their blood sugar. In addition, the dogs may develop fatal liver damage and problems with blood clotting. If you suspect your dog may have gotten into food with xylitol, head for your veterinary clinic. Rapid treatment with glucose, intravenous fluids and liver support may help keep your pet from becoming a statistic.