Summer is the season of spending time outside, relaxing and enjoying the sun. As with every season, Summer poses risks to pets which owners should be aware of. If you are concerned abou your pet regarding any of the below information, please seek veterinary advice – 0161 764 4618
BARBEQUES: Barbeques are popular to have in the Summer but involve a few risks for your pets. With food easily accessible, your pet may use every opportunity to sneak a snack from your guests plates or off the floor. Inform your guests not to feed your pet any inappropriate food that can be hazardous. For example cooked bones. In addition, be aware of your pet getting too close to the barbeque. Avoid leaving rubbish such as plastic wrappers and kebab skewers.
FLOWERS AND PLANTS: Summer is the perfect time to get out and relax in your garden. Some plants and flowers can be toxic to pet. Every pet owner knows that their animal will chew on anything it can sink its teeth into, whether that is a toy or shoe. At some point your fury friend will inevitably gravitate towards plants and flowers for a bite or two. As beautiful as these colourful blooms can be, from household plants to flowers grown in the garden, some can be particularly dangerous to our tail-wagging companions. Below are a few unexpected toxic plants/flowers:
- Lillies – To put it simply, lillies are definitely not the cat’s meow. Every part of a lilly is toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure. Some kinds can also be poisonous to dogs too. They are even toxic to horses
- Aloe Vera – For humans, Aloe Vera works wonders for the skin and for burns. However, for dogs and cats, not so much. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and tremors
- Mushrooms – Most mushrooms are considered non-toxic, caution should be taken with mushrooms because identification of poisonous ones can be difficult. There is a wide range of symptoms that can be noticed from mushroom ingestion: nausea, drooling and vomiting. If mushroom ingestion is suspected, treatment will be induced as if the mushrooms were poisonous
- Tomatoes – Freshly picked tomatoes can taste great, which is why people like to grow them in their gardens at home. The ripened fruit of the plant is considered non-toxic to pets however the green parts of the plant are poisonous to pets if eaten in large amounts. Signs of ingestion incude drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, weakness and confusion
- Rhubarb – Rhubarb stems are edible by humans. The leaves should not be eaten by either humans or pets. The plant contains soluble oxalate crystals with more of these crystals found in the leaves. Symptoms of this type of poisoning include inappetance, weakness, tremors, bloody urine and changes in thirst or urination
SLUG AND SNAIL KILLERS: Products for the control of snails and slugs commonly contain Metaldehyde. In the garden, you are unlikely to encounter a more dangerous chemical. It is essential when using these products to follow the manufacturers instructions and that your pets are not permitted access to the treated areas. Pet owners must seek veterinary advice immediately if they suspect their pet has ingested slug/snail killer.
BEES AND WASP STINGS: Pet owners do not always realise that a sting from a bee/wasp can cause the same effects to their animals as it would to human, varying from mild local skin reactions to severe allergic reactions. If you suspect your pet has been stung, particularly if they have been stung in the mouth or tongue or has recieved multiple stings, phone the clinic for advice or bring your pet down to the surgery.
TOADS: Dogs and cats can be exposed to poison from toads if they lick them or carry them in their mouth. This typically occurs in the Summer months when toads are involved in spawning. Eating or mouthing a toad can cause salivation with foaming or frothing at the mouth, vomiting and some animals may paw at their mouths. Severe poisoning can occur from toads but this is not likely in the UK.
BEACH DANGERS: The beach can hold a few dangers for your dog so safety precautions should be considered. Stop your dog from drinking sea water as it could lead to salt poisoning, make sure you have fresh water to keep them hydrated. Ensure your dog has a shady area to cool down in and consider using sun screen especially if your dog has pale or thin fur, and on vulnerable areas such as the nose and ears. Running on sand uses more energy than on grass, so make sure your dog doesn’t overdo it and has had plenty of rest. Wash the salt and sand out of your dogs coat and paws and check for any cuts.
In september 2016, the Veterinary Poisons Information service launched a pilot helpline for pet owners. Following feedback from veterinary practices, they have decided to seperate the services to reflect the different advice they give to owners compared to vets
The Animal Poison Line launched in April 2017
This will be a triage service, which will let owners know if a trip to their vets is required. They will serve as the first point of call for owners concerned hat their pet may have been exposed to something that could potentially be poisonous.
THE LINE WILL BE OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY, CALLS WILL COST £20 FROM 8AM-8PM, MONDAY-FRIDAY (EXCLUDING BANK HOLIDAYS), AND £30 OUTSIDE OF THESE HOURS
ANIMAL POISON LINE NUMBER – 01202 509 000
For more information, please visit Animal Poison Line’s webite here: https://www.animalpoisonline.co.uk