Springtime Pet Watch Outs

By Dr. Katie Falk,  Associate Veterinarian

With springtime comes increased time spent outside. As we, and our pets, spend more time outdoors, we are exposed to numerous potential risks, including insect stings, allergies, as well as getting into trash, food, and toxins.

Bites or stings from insects often show up as an acutely swollen muzzle or face. Swelling can be mild or severe, painful or otherwise asymptomatic. We recommend a full physical exam by a veterinarian, who will then often administer injections and send home oral medications if an allergic reaction is suspected.

Allergies in dogs and cats are surprisingly common. Springtime is a popular time for allergies, but they can develop at any time of the year or as your pet gets older. The list of dog and cat allergens is extensive, but top offenders are grasses, pollens, and food, particularly the protein source. Allergy symptoms can show up in many different forms, including scratching, sneezing, eye discharge, chewing, scooting, skin conditions, hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important to bring your pet in to see the vet if any of these signs are observed as treatments alongside long-term management are not straight forward.

We love our food-motivated pets when it comes to training, but this trait can be less helpful when spending more time outside while parties and barbecues are also kicking off. We see a lot of dogs and cats eating excess food, trash, or more rarely toxins. Dietary indiscretion can lead to bloat, pancreatitis, or obstructions, all of which can be potentially life-threatening. Toxicities are far less common, but also potentially life-threatening. Some more common toxicities include slug and snail pellets, causing a metaldehyde toxicity, and plants. Toxic plant species include Lilies, Daffodils, Crocuses, Tulips, English Ivy, Hyacinths and Irises. If your beloved pet got into something they shouldn’t have, we always recommend calling ASPCA poison control, then your veterinarian as soon as possible.

We hope you and your pet enjoy Spring activities as the weather warms and flowers bloom, while keeping these tips in mind. Remember, your veterinarian is eager to answer any questions, in addition to keeping your pet safe and comfortable, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Leave A Comment