Easter Pet Reminders

With the school holidays and Easter soon to be upon us, we’d just like to remind you of a few problems to avoid with your pets during this time.

The big problem to be aware of and avoid is chocolate toxicity in dogs, so make sure those Easter Eggs are kept well out of reach. Chocolate itself is high in fat and sugar, and a sudden large intake can cause pancreatitis, with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. A more dangerous situation can arise though from Theobromine and Caffeine, 2 chemicals found in chocolate. There are different amounts of these chemicals in different types of chocolate. White chocolate has none, Milk chocolate has the least and dark or cooking chocolate the most.

Theobromine and caffeine can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, irregular heartbeats and even death. There are several chocolate calculators available online which help us to work out if your dog has eaten enough chocolate to cause toxicity. For example, if a 10kg dog ate a 200g block of milk chocolate, he or she may have vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking and an increased heart rate. If the same dog ate 200g of cooking chocolate, it could be fatal.

If a dog is presented to us soon after eating a large amount of chocolate we can usually induce them to vomit it back up, but if the dog is already showing symptoms, it can take several days for them to wear off and the dog may require intensive treatment in hospital.

Also, if your dog or cat is going into boarding kennels over the holidays, remember to check if they are up to date with their vaccinations. If your pet is travelling with you, check with us if tick or heartworm prevention will be required. Most of all, enjoy your break if you are able to take one and we’ll see you soon.