Protecting Your Pets from Spring Hazards
As the seasons change, environmental factors can become dangerous for your pet. These hazards include plants, pests, and pollen. At Danforth Animal Hospital, serving Edmond, Guthrie, and Oklahoma City, OK, our experts can teach you how to protect your pet against spring hazards. We also provide preventative care for these issues to make sure your pet stays healthy.
Spring Hazards to Avoid
There are many spring hazards that you should consider when you have a pet who goes outside on a regular basis. Some of them include:
- Ticks: Ticks spread many diseases that can affect both humans and animals, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis. The best way that you can protect your pet is using preventative treatment against ticks.
- Flowers and plants: Certain flowers, like tulips, daffodils, and lilies, can be dangerous for pets. It’s important to know what plants to avoid so you can keep your pet safe
- Heartworm: Heartworm disease is transmitted to pets by mosquitoes and primarily affects the lungs and heart, although it can also have an effect on the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. If it is not treated, it can be fatal.
- Fertilizers and mulch: The majority of fertilizers have many toxic substances, such as nitrogen and iron. Even if it does not poison your pet, a lot of fertilizer could lead to pancreatic or gastrointestinal problems.
- Metaldehyde: Also known as slug bait or snail bait, this presents a large risk. These bait products usually contain metaldehyde, which is a poison that tastes sweet to pets. You should familiarize yourself with symptoms of metaldehyde poisoning, so that you know what to expect.
- Bee stings: It is possible for animals to have allergic reactions to bee stings, particularly if there are multiple bees and stings.
- Snakes: Rattlesnakes can bite your pet, as they are able to strike as far away as half of their own body length.
- Thawing bodies of water: If there are nearby lakes or ponds that were frozen and are now thawing, your pet could fall through thin ice.
- Foxtail plants, which are grass-like weeds typically found in the Western part of the United States, can also be a large risk for your pet. The seed heads of these plants can end up embedded in any part of your pet, including the nose, ears, between the toes, eyes, and mouth. The seeds can be hard to find in a pet’s fur. These seeds do not break down inside your pet’s body, meaning that an embedded foxtail can end up in a serious infection for your pet that can be fatal if you do not treat it.
In addition to avoiding these hazards, there are a few things you can do to prevent your pet from getting sick in the spring:
- Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date.
- Use a flea and tick preventative.
- Keep your pet’s yard free of debris and potential hazards.
- Bring your pet to the veterinarian for regular checkups.
If your pet has come into contact with any of these hazards, bring it to our veterinarian for treatment. We can also provide you with more information on how to protect your pet from spring hazards.