NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

April 11, 2014

Paw Prints: Keeping your pets healthy this spring

It’s April, and spring has finally sprung. As gentle, warm sun bathes our homes and neighborhoods, it’s easy to believe that this month will hold nothing but beauty.

Indeed, the awakening of the earth is a time to enjoy. And it’s a lot more fun if Fluffy and Fido can enjoy the month with you. With Easter around the corner and bugs growing more active by the day, you want to be sure your Fido and Fluffy are protected this season.

This month is a special treat for plant lovers. Stores are stocked with gorgeous, aromatic Easter lilies. These stunning flowers make beautiful living bouquets and fill the gap before color bursts from the garden.

But beware if you own a cat. Easter lilies are extremely toxic to our kitties. A few nibbles of a flower or leaf can be fatal. Lilies cause sudden kidney failure. Progression can be so rapid that waiting a few hours may be too late. If your cat chews on any part of an Easter lily, bring your cat and the flower to your vet immediately.

The reason you should bring the flower to your vet is to positively identify the plant ingested.

Flowers and leaves of the genus Lilium are toxic to cats. These include Easter, tiger, Oriental and stargazer lilies. Day lilies belong to a different genus (Hemerocallis), but, like true lilies, they are extremely dangerous if eaten and cause rapid kidney failure.

Other lilies, such as peace or calla, are not true lilies. Lily of the valley is another misnomer. These plants do not cause renal failure in cats.

If Fido is the love of your life, don’t become complacent during Easter. Chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs are on the doggy no-no list. Many dogs crave sweets and will steal chocolate if given the opportunity.

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