Easter Dangers 

What You Should Know to Protect Your Pet

April, 2015


A very happy Easter to you! Many people celebrating this weekend will be spending time with loved ones, hunting for Easter eggs, opening Easter baskets, and enjoying lots of candy and family meals. You may also have your home decorated with seasonal decorations or plants.


Unfortunately, these traditions can be dangerous for dogs. Every year, thousands of animals become injured or deathly ill around Easter. To keep your dog safe, you should be aware of some common pet perils of the season.


Plastic Easter Grass and Other Goodies:


Like children, pets love to nibble on goodies in the Easter basket. Unfortunately, our curious pets enjoy everything in the basket, even decorations, toys, and the foil wrappers on candies.   

Take care to keep Easter baskets away from your pets. The plastic in decorative grass is indigestible and can get caught in the intestines, leading to blockage and possible perforation. Once ingested, the grass, as well as other foreign object such as small plastic toys, can cause choking or become lodged in the stomach or intestines and create an obstruction. (Looking for a safe, fun way to share the holiday with your dog? Here is a good article on hosting a pup-friendly activity.) 


Your pet may also ingest streamers and other decorative items such as ribbons and bows without proper supervision. These may be on household items, but they are also sometimes tied around a pet's neck. Don't be tempted to decorate your pets; they don't enjoy it and it may result in choking or strangulation. Keep these items away from your pets and throw candy wrappers in a covered trashcan. 


If you suspect that your dog has ingested something that may not pass through his intestinal tract, contact your veterinarian. Waiting until your dog starts to vomit will make removal of the object more difficult and costly. Also, if you notice a sudden loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive drooling, or abnormal bowel movements, consult with your veterinarian immediately.


Chocolate Toxicity:


Did you know that chocolate can poison your pet? It can be deadly to both dogs and cats, and other candies and wrappers can become lodged in the stomach or cause your pet to choke. Chocolate has a high fat content as well as caffeine and theobromine, which stimulate the nervous system and can be toxic if taken in large amounts. Depending on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. White chocolate has the least amount of stimulants and baking chocolate has the highest. Read this article to learn more about Chocolate Toxicity.


Easter Lilies:


For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope, and life. Cat owners, however, need to be especially careful with these beautiful flowers because the leaves contain toxins that can cause severe kidney damage. The same goes for other varieties such as day lilies and tiger lilies. (So far, toxicity has not been reported in dogs. This information is still very important, though, if you have a cat or know someone who does. Lilies are a common gift during this time of year and you don’t want to bring a lily plant to someone's home if they own a cat.)


Eating just one leaf of this toxic plant can result in severe poisoning, with symptoms appearing very shortly thereafter. Minutes to hours following ingestion, the cat may stop eating and begin vomiting. As the toxins begin to affect the kidneys, the cat may become lethargic. Within five days, kidney failure will cause death without treatment. This is especially deadly to cats. Go to Easter Lily Toxicity to learn more. 


Please share this with all of your pet loving friends, dog or cat, and help keep pets safe during the Easter holiday. 

Have a great weekend,

Dr. Debra 


P.S.: If you're enjoying a delicious family meal today, remember that human food is not safe for dogs to have. That "little nibble" could send your dog to the emergency room, so please don't take the chance!


P.P.S.: Are bunnies and chicks good Easter gifts for kids? Get the facts before bringing one home.




Easter Egg Hunts for You and Your Dog 


Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief - Debra is a graduate of the Ohio State University (OSU) School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic has worked in small animal and veterinary emergency practices including St. Louis Animal Emergency Clinic and MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014.  Dr. Primovic spends the bulk of her time researching and writing about pet health information. 

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 Foster Homes Desperately Needed! 

June, 2015


This month's radar is on Foster Homes


Recently Dog Speed has experienced numerous requests by owners who wish to surrender their dogs to be rehomed.  


We appreciate that these owners are seeking the safer more responsible option of surrendering their pets to a reputable rescue.  Some of the requests were from shelters that, due to their policy requirements, could not adopt particular dogs out because the dogs had fear issues, or were not doing well in the shelter environment and needed to get into a home environment asap.  They recognized these dogs would do better in a rescue where their issues could be specifically addressed, overcome, and a good match found.  Unfortunately we have had to turn away quite a few animals these past few weeks because we simply do not have any vacant temporary homes for them to go to while we seek new forever homes for them!


We worry about the potentially dangerous alternatives some dogs may find themselves in, i.e. sold on-line (click here for info on the dangers of on-line pet ads), taken to a shelter that may not be a no-kill shelter, dumping them off in a rural area to fend for themselves, or, if already at a shelter, possible euthenasia if a rescue organization cannot be found for them and they languish there too long. 


If you, or anyone you know, has ever considered fostering a pet, this would be a great time to apply and give it a try.  Our fosters always have a choice in accepting or declining a potential foster pet when we contact them, and if the pet has issues, we work with our fosters to ensure they have the resources and abilities to handle the foster pet if they choose to foster that animal.


Click here for our Foster info page and Foster Application.  


This is a great opportunity to help homeless, unwanted or neglected animals and to help our rescue, so we do not have to turn away any more animals...the potential alternatives for the ones we cannot take could be fatal. 


Please spread the word to anyone reputable you think might be interested in fostering!  

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