Two most common pet dangers lurking in the Easter Bunny’s basket

Easter pet safety

Spring has officially sprung as the bulbs start to peak their flowery heads to the surface. It’s easy to get distracted as we start to wake from our winter hibernation so Hope VS just wanted to remind everyone of the two most common pet emergencies we see this time of year, Easter lilies and chocolate.


Easter lilies, or any flower in the lily family for that matter, are extremely toxic to cats. Ingestion of any part of this flower or plant, even the smallest amount, can be deadly. Guess what, EVEN that pesky staining orange pollen is toxic! Be sure to bathe your cat if you see this pollen on their face or coat after a romp in the garden. They could ingest it if they try to groom themselves.

We still aren’t sure just what causes the toxicity or why it effects cats and not other species such as a dog or rabbit in the same way. There is no antidote for lily toxicity so quick action is imperative to your pet’s survival. Symptoms of ingestion can start within 6 to 12 hours. Keep an eye out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Loss of appetite

Kidney failure can occur in 36-72 hours after ingestion and it is essential to treat with aggressive fluid therapy. Sub cutaneous fluids is not enough for these cats. Signs of kidney failure are:

  • Increased urination, followed by decreased urination, followed by no urination
  • Increased thirst
  • dehydration
  • death

If you suspect that your cat has ingested any part of the lily plant, including pollen, please consult HOPE VS immediately.


Everyone is outside watching the kids look frantically for those Easter eggs you just filled with jellybeans and chocolate. Its easy to forget you left the remaining bag of Hershey’s kisses on the kitchen table where Fido is more than happy to discover his own Easter treat. Chocolate is a common ingestion amongst dogs cause they have excellent sniffers and let’s face it, who doesn’t crave a little chocolate from time to time? Its important to note that even though dogs are the most common culprits of chocolate ingestion, cats have been known to take a nibble or two.

Chocolate is derived from the seeds of Theobroma cacao, which contains caffeine and theobromine. These two substances within the seed can have toxic effects on animals so the amount of chocolate ingested is important to know when talking to a veterinary professional. The types of chocolate that are concerning are:

  • Bakers Chocolate-highest concentration of caffeine and theobromine. As little as two ounces can be toxic to a 20 lb dog.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Coco powder

Signs of chocolate ingestion for dogs and cats are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle Rigidity
  • Seizures
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Increased temperature

If you have a concern that your dog has consumed some of the sweet stuff, please give us a call so we can help you. In addition the ASPCA animal poison control center is a good resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They can be contacted at (888) 426-4435. (A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.)