Spring poisons - keeping your pets safe

While we're enjoying the lovely spring weather, remember that the new season brings fresh dangers and to dogs and cats

 1. Spring bulbs  

Daffodils, tulips and crocus bulbs are toxic and can poison a dog if they were to dig up and eat any. If they do, they could suffer side effects from fitting or heart and blood pressure problems, to vomiting and diarrhoea. But it's not just the bulbs to worry about, ingesting daffodil flowers or even drinking the water from a vase of them could be enough to make your dog unwell.

 2. Herbicides & fungicides – plant and fungal-killing chemicals 

Examples of these are weed killer and mildew control. Toxicity among herbicides varies enormously, but pet poisoning can occur from as little contact as brushing up against a treated plant. The results can vary from vomiting to liver failure – so keep these chemicals well away from your pets at all times.

 3. Rodenticides – rat or mouse killers

If you find you have a rodent problem and you have pets, never use rodenticides. They are as attractive to your cat or dog as they are to the rodents they are designed to kill, and that’s why they account for so much of the pet poisoning seen by vets every year.

Symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, lameness or bruising are typical, as well as vomiting, excitability, changes in body temperature and fitting. Even if you haven’t used this poison yourself but your pet is displaying symptoms, it could be that they have eaten poison elsewhere - for example, a poisoned mouse – so always seek veterinary advice immediately.

 4. Antihistamines

The blossom is starting to come out, and for many of us that means hay fever is kicking in. Always be very careful not to leave antihistamines lying around as they can prove highly toxic to pets. Symptoms to look out for include agitation, lethargy, vomiting, aggression and seizures, and they could prove fatal.

 5. Lilies

Beautiful they may be, but they are also highly dangerous to cats. For some, even being in the same room as lilies can be enough to cause a toxic reaction. If there’s even a chance that your cat has come into contact with them in a vase or as a plant, seek veterinary advice immediately as any delay could result in kidney failure or even death.

If you are concerned that you think your pet has eaten or been in contact with anything toxic, or if they have any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek veterinary advice immediately.

If you have an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.