Springtime brings with it great anticipation, renewing landscapes and longer days. But, as a pet owner, you should be aware that the changing season can also bring serious health risks to your furry friends. From accidental ingestions to parasites found in warmer weather, emergency situations involving pets are not uncommon around this time of year – so it pays to be prepared and know the most common pet emergencies associated with spring. In this blog post we’ll go over 5 potential springtime issues you need to watch out for when caring for your beloved pet so you can respond quickly if an emergency arises.
Insect bites and stings
Inquisitive pets love to investigate the buzzing, flying, and crawling insects outdoors, but that can lead to bites or stings. Although most pets recover without incident from a wasp, spider, or ant attack, some can develop allergic reactions that cause swelling, distress, and breathing difficulties.
When planning your springtime planting, avoid plants that can be toxic to your pet. Common spring flowers that are dangerous for pets include lilies, azaleas, and daffodils. If ingested, toxic plants typically cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy, and may also lead to tremors and convulsions. Lilies are particularly toxic to cats, and ingestion of any plant part causes acute kidney failure. Pets need immediate treatment after any toxic plant ingestion to neutralize the toxin and reverse any damage. When in doubt about a plant’s safety, check online to find out which plants are toxic to pets.
Although seasonal allergies aren’t an emergency in the sense that lack of immediate treatment is fatal, pets can rapidly become miserable. Many pets are hypersensitive to pollens, grasses, molds, and other springtime allergens, and can develop itchy skin, ear infections, anal gland issues, and more after exposure. Without prompt treatment for seasonal allergy flares, pets can chew themselves raw, or develop an ear hematoma from excessively shaking their head.
Exposure to lawn and garden chemicals
While you may want the greenest lawn on the block, fertilizer, herbicide, and other chemicals can be extremely hazardous to your pet. As they walk through the grass or garden, chemicals cling to their fur, which they then ingest when they groom. Signs of lawn and garden chemical ingestion can include salivation, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, hyperthermia, and seizures.
Improper parasite prevention
As temperatures rise, parasite populations soar. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes come out of hiding to feast upon your pet, making parasite prevention critical. Always use a veterinary-recommended preventive that is formulated for your pet’s weight and species. Mistakenly administering dog flea prevention to a cat can be deadly, so always verify that the right pet gets the right medication.
If your pet finds themself in a scrape this spring, contact our team immediately for urgent care.