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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Keep an eye on your pets, warns Maitland vet

A Maitland vet has issued a warning to pet owners as the weather warms up and we spend more time outside.

Springtime flowers and fruit trees that can be found in Hunter residents’ backyards and parks have toxins and seeds that can be harmful to dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits.

“It’s important for new pet owners to know of the seemingly harmless dangers that Spring can bring,” Greencross Vets Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Magdoline Awad said.

Flowering and non-flowering plants can lead to a variety of allergies, with many common kinds of grass, weeds and flowers having the potential to disrupt pets’ outside adventures.

Sometimes these allergies can be due to direct contact with the plant, while other times the plant’s pollen can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin of allergic pets.

Other plants are more dangerous when they are eaten.

“Just like kids, our pets love to explore and try new things – tasting, smelling, chewing and rolling on things that they shouldn’t,” Dr Awad said.

“Simply coming into contact with certain plants and weeds can cause pets to suffer an uncontrollable urge to scratch, lick, chew and rub at their skin until fur loss and dermatitis develops.”

Ingestion of certain flowers, fruit seeds and plants can cause toxicity or intestinal blockages in pets.

Symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhoea and sudden kidney or liver failure.

One of the most common cut flowers in bouquets, the lily, is very toxic to cats, and even the pollen can cause serious kidney problems.

It’s best to avoid lilies if you have cats at home.

Hunter residents are encouraged to keep a close eye on pets this Spring, and if they experience any signs of coming into contact with something toxic, seek medical attention.

Greencross Maitland Practice Manager Michelle Ashpole said the practice had a number of COVID Safe options for those seeking assistance.

 “For those that want to practice safe social distancing, we also offer WebVet, an at-home video call service, so that our dedicated and qualified team of veterinarians and nurses can assess your pet via video call, to provide advice and support,” she said.

“We also have minimal contact offerings which allow pet parents to drop and collect their pets outside our Maitland clinic to reduce physical interaction.”

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