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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Easter eggs and Daffodils can be toxic to your pet

We've all heard it, "Don't give your dog chocolate it will kill him". How true is it you're probably wondering. Do I have to rush him to the vets if he eats one of my Cadbury’s Cream Eggs?
The truth is chocolate contains a chemical theobromine that is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities.
Nothing says Easter quite like chocolates and daffodils - yet these seemingly harmless seasonal pleasures are set to cause illness and even death among UK pets.
Many dogs, like us, enjoy the taste of chocolate and will happily eat it if they get the chance. When it comes to daffodils all parts of the plant are potentially dangerous, even the water these flowers stand in. The bulbs are highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal if consumed.

The greatest chocolate danger is from the luxury brands intended for humans, that have a higher cocoa content making it much more toxic to pets. Just a small bar of dark chocolate could fatally poison a Yorkshire Terrier!
With daffodils, the main risk to pets is from the bulbs, as Nick Sutton, Specialist in Poisons Information at the VPIS explains: “Most of the enquiries we receive regarding daffodils concern dogs digging up and eating freshly planted bulbs.  Animals can become very unwell after eating the bulbs. Although this is the most toxic part of the plant, eating the leaves, flowers and even drinking the water can prove harmful.”

Chocolate poisoning facts:
  • Large amounts of chocolate can poison dogs and other pets due to the toxic effects of theobromine, a component of chocolate similar to caffeine.
  • The effects of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually appears within 6 to 12 hours of ingestion, and can last as long as 72 hours. 
  • Initial signs can include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal tenderness and restlessness.
  • In severe cases there are fits, heart beat irregularities, coma or even death.

Daffodil poisoning facts:
  • Daffodil bulbs are the most toxic part of this plant. They contain chemicals called alkaloids and glycosides which are hazardous to pets. These chemicals are present in all parts of the flower, but most concentrated in the bulb.
  • The lethal dose can be as low as 15g of bulbs – this could be as little as just one bulb!
  • Even the water the daffodils stand in is toxic and can cause stomach upsets in pets if drunk.

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