Shelter Health

Top 5 Easter Toxins

Each Easter weekend, the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center gets calls for many of the same types of intoxications. Here are five particularly prevalent Easter problems you can share with clients and via social media – and click here for a free, downloadable poster!

1. Chocolate

Easter is typically the APCC's top day for chocolate intoxication calls, topping Christmas, Valentine's Day and even Halloween! Why? Pets find Easter candy hidden around the house or the yard, or get into unattended Easter baskets. Make sure that all candy is out of reach of pets at all times when it will be unsupervised.

2. Lilies

True lilies (with the Latin name starting with Lilium) or daylilies (Hemerocallis) are a concern for acute kidney failure in cats. All homes with cats should be very careful with Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum). We would discourage them from even entering houses with cats, but if they must be there, make sure cats can't access any part of the plant, including falling leaves, the pollen or the water flowers were stored in; all can all cause life-threatening signs in cats.

3. Easter Grass

The plastic grass that is found in Easter baskets is appealing to pets but can cause a life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction that may require surgery to resolve.

4. Table Food

Onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, grapes, and raisins are common toxic foods that pets ingest. However, many foods that aren't toxic may cause stomach upset that could lead to pancreatitis.

5. Herbicides

Many people begin spring yard work on Easter weekend. Make sure herbicides are kept where pets can't chew or puncture the bottle and that application is dry before letting the pets outside. Pets are often exposed when they are outside while their owners are spraying these products. While many herbicides are not highly toxic, any exposure does warrant a call to the vet.

Poison Prevention Video

This video, featuring the APCC's own toxicologist Dr. Tina Wismer, shows how pet owners can put together a safety prevention pack at home. Share it on your Facebook page and let your clients know about it!

More APCC Resources

What were the top 10 topics of calls in 2013 to the APCC? Read the list and download a poster.

What toxins caused the most reported deaths of pets in 2013? Read the APCC's list

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Read case studies, keep up to date on the latest research, and find out more about how APCC can help you by checking out all the resources available in the APCC section on ASPCApro.

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