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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog

» Spring has Sprung

Each season seems to present new and different potential problems than the last. Spring is thought of to be a month where you see the new life come up after a bare and bleak winter. This usually involves bulbs of some sort that reappear year after year, we’ve already had a couple of incidents of bulb toxicity this year, with daffodil and tulip bulbs.

Eating any plant matter that’s not intended for consumption can lead to gastric upset but these can lead to more unpleasant symptoms. It is more likely to get these if they eat the bulb and not just chew the petals or stem. They can also get hyper-salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal tenderness, lethargy and twitching.  There is no toxic dose, which means there isn’t a ‘safe’ quantity that they can eat. In some cases we recommend inducing vomiting but in every case they should have some activated charcoal to minimise the absorption of the substance.


Fertiliser is another thing that just makes me think of seizuring dogs rather than a nicely tended garden. Dogs for some reason seem to think freshly fertilised borders are great fun and ingest large quantities! This can lead to dehydration, vomiting and diarrhoea and convulsions and tremors. I have known cases of dogs seizing so badly they had to be anaesthetised for several days. I’m not sure how many people are really that aware of how serious this is.

Many types of slug bait (metaldehyde) are poisonous, not just for pets but for wildlife too. Apparently watering your garden in the morning instead of the evening can decrease slugs by as much as 80% as the garden isn’t as moist in the night when they come out. Seaweed is a slug repellent and can be scattered around the edges of borders or bases of plants.

This isn’t a Spring time issue but is something we seem to be seeing more and more xylitol cases come in, xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that is now appearing in things from chewing gum to peanut butter. This causes the pancreas to produce way too much insulin, which leads to hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) and can lead to seizures and coma if not treated. It’s in a lot of American products and slowly more and more of these products are finding their way over here.

Always call us and we can adv you what/if anything needs to be done.

Menna RVN MBVNA

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