Spring is in the air, and we are all ready to get outside! Even with the mild winters of San Antonio, there’s nothing like the first spring breeze and a little more daylight to get the spring fever started. Our pets feel the pull of the season as well, and are eager to stretch their legs in the sun, too.

But more outdoor time sometimes means that – surprise! – your pet got into something they shouldn’t, and you wind up at the emergency clinic. With our list of spring pet toxins, Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital can help you keep these surprises to a minimum as the weather warms up.

Spring Pet Toxins

Antifreeze – antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol, is a deadly substance for pets. Unfortunately it’s sweet taste makes it irresistible for them. Antifreeze poisoning happens most commonly when a car’s radiator leaks the fluid onto the ground, and a pet licks it up, or when a spill happens in the garage. So keep spills cleaned up and prevent your pet from drinking from street and sidewalk puddles.

Easter basket danger – the chocolate bunnies and eggs that the Easter bunny leaves your kids are a danger to your pets, especially if they contain dark or baker’s chocolate. Plastic toys and the green plastic easter basket grass can also pose a GI obstruction danger if they are swallowed.  

Lethal lilies – those Easter and springtime bouquets are lovely to look at, but may be deadly spring pet toxins. Some (though not all) lilies are so toxic to cats that even ingesting one leaf can send them into acute kidney failure. Learn which lilies and other cut flowers can be dangerous to your pets before bringing them into your home.

Spring cleaning safety – ah, spring cleaning! No matter how satisfying (or annoying) doing a little extra cleaning can be, it’s important to be aware of the dangers for pets. Most cleaning products are eye and mouth irritants, and also can be problematic for skin and respiratory tracts. Don’t let your little “helpers” too close when you’re scrubbing, keep areas well ventilated, and store household cleaners well out of reach of pets.

Poisonous plants – the appearance of the first flower in your yard may send you into a flurry of yard cleanup, trips to the nursery, and planting. Before you go hog wild, check into lethal landscaping for your pets. These spring pet toxins – including cocoa mulch, certain plants, herbicides, and fertilizers – can cause big problems for pets.

Rat poison – it goes without saying that anything designed to kill rodents can kill your pets too. Bring your pet to us immediately if they have ingested either the rat or mouse poison or if they  hunt rodents and you notice any problems. Better yet, don’t use this product in your yard! It’s just too deadly, in our opinion.

Snail/ Slug Bait – these products are more problematic for pets than most people think. The toxic substance they contain is the poison metaldehyde, and they have sweet taste that pets like. Monitor your pets closely after protecting your garden from these invaders, and bring them to see us if you notice any vomiting, drooling, or lethargy.  

Ivermectin – horse dewormers contain ivermectin, which is also used in small doses to kill parasites in dogs. Toxicity can occur if a dog ingests an excessive dose of the medication, so if you have horses (or your neighbors do), make sure your dog can’t get access to horse products.

Did we surprise you with any of these spring pet toxins? We hope that this list has given you some good ideas for how to safeguard your pets from these common problems. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health, please give us a call. Happy Spring!