Don’t get sprung by spring – protect your pets!

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Isn’t it wonderful to finally see all the leaves and colour returning to the trees and plants in our backyards?

But be aware there could be dangers lurking in and around the garden that could prove fatal to pets.

Knowing what to look out for can help you keep your pets safe from harm.

Garden dangers to protect your pets from

Snail and slug baits – This is a relatively common form of poisoning seen in pets, and is both distressing and dangerous. Dogs especially can be attracted to baits in pellet form as they look similar to dry dog food.

Poisonous plants –Many indoor and outdoor plants are toxic including lilies, castor bean and castor oil plants, and Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow plants (especially the berries).

Tree or plant stone fruits – Dogs may eat fruit stones, berries and seeds, and this can lead to serious intestinal blockages and obstructions, which can be fatal. Some fruit stones, berries or seeds may also contain toxic compounds which can be poisonous to your pets too.

Cocoa bean/shell mulch - Although cocoa mulch is generally not available in Australia, it is possible that some small domestic chocolate manufacturers could sell cocoa shell mulch as a waste product from their manufacturing process. If so, this product is highly toxic to dogs.

Fertilisers – Fertilisers may be in liquid, granular or solid form and can include additives such as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, iron, zinc and copper. Certain fertilisers may also contain bacterial or fungal toxins which can have serious side effects if ingested.

Insecticides - Insecticides are readily available for home and commercial use and are highly toxic to pets.

Signs of poisoning?

If your dog has consumed a toxic product, they may show symptoms such as

¬∑         vomiting,

¬∑         diarrhoea,

¬∑         excessive salivating,

¬∑         muscle tremors,

¬∑         staggering or muscle weakness, and

¬∑         seizures.

If you suspect poisoning, it’s vital that you act as quickly as possible. Don’t try to treat your dog or cat at home – contact your veterinarian immediately to seek emergency medical help.