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Sunday, April 1, 2012

How Safe is your Easter Basket?

How safe is your Easter Basket?

With the Easter Bunny hoppin’ down the bunny trail in another week, please think about what your ‘bunny’ fills your child’s Easter basket with as it pertains to the safety of your dog.
Chocolate is not a culinary concoction easy to resist by the family dog especially chocolate with peanut butter inside! Even I can’t resist it and I know better! Thankfully if I can’t resist chocolate it will only make me fat, but if the dog can’t resist it, it can be toxic.
Many a pooch has been known to suddenly jump on the dining table or the kitchen counter to sneak a taste of such delectable Chocolate delights. With that being said, please remember that different chocolates have different toxicity levels and their effects go by the weight of the dog as it compares to how much they eat.
For instance white chocolate is the less toxic than dark chocolate or coco.
Symptoms of toxicity can range from diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, and seizures, to death.
I found this cool interactive chart that will help guide you through what is toxic going by the weight of the dog, and the type and amount of chocolate they consumed. Going by this chart I see it will take one of my guys weighing in at 175. lbs about 10.17 ounces of cocoa to be considered in the possible death category without treatment. However, much more white chocolate would have to be consumed before it causes a problem.
Feel free to view this chart and match it up with the weight of you dog, and might I also suggest that you actually write down on a separate sheet of paper the results for your dog and place it on the fridge so that if you pooch suddenly turns into the ‘no, no bad dog’, with a chocolate mustache outlining his lips, and he is jumping around like he has just had a pot of coffee, along with explosive diarrhea, check your kid’s basket and see if there are any missing Easter Rabbits or Cadbury eggs!

Chocolate chart:  Click here  

Easter basket Grass:
Of course that delectable scent lingers on the Easter grass in the basket as well and if the dog eats the grass, there is the potential for an intestinal blockage. If you are not seeing grass pass out of the dog's other end within a couple of days, and you know the dog ate some, watch for a potential blockage. Symptoms of a blockage would be sudden lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, (or change in stool) and lethargy. Keep in mind that any non food item has the potential to become an intestinal obstruction which in most cases requires surgery to fix.

Easter basket toys:
Anything such as glass or hard plastic that the dog eats which can break or splinter can cause much damage as it makes its way down through the system. I relay this advice from a Vet friend of mine, that was given to me around the Christmas holiday and all those shiny balls were hanging on the tree making it a doggie tourist attraction.

“If a dog swallows a piece of glass I recommend to first observe him for a few minutes. If he doesn't drool or vomit then he will most likely be fine. For some reason when a dog, cat, or a child eats a piece of broken glass it usually passes without any problems. However, one never knows if there will be a problem so it's important to observe the dog for awhile and feed the dog something soft like a piece of whole wheat bread. Then, if the dog can swallow the bread without any problem such as vomiting then the piece of glass has probably passed through his esophagus into his stomach where it will usually be expelled through the dog's pyloric sphincter along with any food in his stomach therefore feed the dog anything he'll eat. Some dogs are picky and they won't eat pumpkin or Metamucil. Ideally, you should give the dog canned real pumpkin (or mashed sweet or white potatoes) or Metamucil (mixed according to the directions on the package). The pumpkin, potatoes, or the Metamucil will produce bulk in the dog's GI tract which will surround the piece of glass so that it will pass through the dog's pyloric sphincter more easily and then through the bowels and ultimately it will be eliminated in the dog's bowel movement”.

Sugar free Easter Treats

Some people are very health conscious and don’t want to deprive their child of the joys of searching for that Easter basket in the morning but they also don’t want their kids to have a bunch of sugar that will rot their teeth and add a bit of weight gain so they opt to get sugar free treats to stuff the Easter baskets with. That’s great! But in doing so please read the ingredients on the bag as some of these treats are made with Xylitol and can cause severe illness within 30 minutes of ingestion or 12 hours later
Click Here for  more on this toxicity

If you are going healthy remember that raisins and grapes are also very, very toxic to dogs.

Easter Dinner

Scenario 1:

Fido sits at the end of the table like a perfect gentleman just waiting to pounce on that fallen piece of ham that your child has conveniently dropped to the floor because, well, let’s face it, that’s what kids do best when they don’t like something! 

Scenario 2

Fido lays in wait while the leftovers of dinner are being stored for the next day’s meal and Dad is scraping off the plates of his guests into the garbage to load the dishwasher. (ah what a guy!) Suddenly Dad spots a few pieces of ham on one of the dishes; he looks over at Fido’s big sad eyes that ask, “Please sir, might I have a bit ~o~ ham?” Dad gives in and puts the left over ham in Fido’s plate. Suddenly, the all knowing mom enters the picture.
“Did you just give Fido ham?” she asks.
Dad at first tries denial. “Why no hon, there was a bit of green beans on the plate that went into Fido's dish"
Meanwhile Fido with his excitement is digging dad further into a hole now by jumping up on dad’s leg for another bit of ham and mom knows Fido would not be acting this way over a green bean! She looks long and hard at dad, her eyebrows raised, her mouth clenched tightly.
Dad suddenly panics. “Alright, alright! he said. Admitting guilt. “It was just a few pieces, no harm done!”
Later that night mom kicks dad out of bed and tells him to pick up the vomit and diarrhea that little 15 lb Fido now has.  A bit of pancreatitis is setting in from the ham that dad gave to Fido earlier in the day!  

Lesson learned

Please keep in mind that any fatty human foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs and it can become very severe. Severe enough that hospitalization may be needed.
So no matter the scenario, keep Fido away from the table and keep him chewing on a nice doggie product for Easter made specifically for him!
Of course if you are in a panic and want to talk with someone knowledgeable right away but your vet is closed. Call the poison control hotline which can cost you about $40.00  per call.
If you want to speak to a Vet or Vet Tech on line about the problem you can do so by going to Just Answer. click here  

24/7 Animal Poison Control Center

Easter Lily

Ah the fresh scent of the Easter Lily  can freshen up any room, but did you know the Easter Lily in  the stomach of a dog can cause serious consequences?  Plants do play a roll in  pet toxicities as well as food does. For more on the symptoms 
click here.

List of toxins from A to Z link  Added 3/24/2015. .  Click here

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