20th of February, 2017
and promise of good days ahead
We have had a welcome reminder during the sunny spells of the last week that Spring is just around the corner. It has been good to walk the dogs in the garden and enjoy the snowdrops and early spring flowers.

Spring for some people means it is time to plan and start preparing your garden. Dogs are like us and love spending time outside in the garden, but we need to be aware of some of the things that can make them ill. While you may be working hard at making your garden look beautiful, insecticides, fertilisers and pesticides can be poisonous to your dog if ingested. So too can some of the flowers and bulbs that they like to dig up and play with.

Daffodils can be toxic, mainly after ingestion of the bulb but occasionally after ingestion of flower heads, and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy that in severe cases may result in dehydration, tremors and convulsions. These signs can be seen from 15 minutes to 24 hours after ingestion. Other spring flowers, such as Crocuses and Tulips, are less toxic but seek veterinary advice if you are worried that your pet may have ingested them. With Bluebells all parts of the plant are poisonous to dogs as are Snowdrops, Aconite, Narcissus, Tulips and Hyacinths if ingested.

Be aware of those fertilizers. While most are moderately toxic, some can be fatal without treatment.

Blood meal is dried, ground, and flash-frozen blood and contains 12% nitrogen. If ingested, it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. More importantly, it can result in severe pancreatitis. Some types of blood meal are also fortified with iron, resulting in iron toxicity.
Bone Meal – This is made up of defatted, dried, and flash-frozen animal bones that are ground to a powder. This “bone” is also what makes it so palatable to your dog, so make sure to keep your pet from digging in it and ingesting the soil, as the bone meal forms a large ball in the stomach which can cause an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in possible surgery to remove it.

Some rose or plant fertilizers contain disulfoton or other types of organophosphates can result in severe symptoms such as seizures, difficulty breathing etc. In some cases, it can be fatal!

Metaldehyde-based slug pellets are very dangerous to pets - even small amounts of pellets can cause significant poisoning - with severe signs including fitting, and muscle tremors that can easily develop within an hour of consumption. If you suspect that your dog has ingested even a tiny amount you must rush your dog to your vet immediately as quick action on your part can help save your pet’s life.

You MUST avoid using cocoa shells for mulch in the garden as they contain theobromine (found in chocolate) which is attractive but highly toxic to dogs.

With vigilance and common sense Springtime can be one of the loveliest times of the year for you and your dog, full of warmth and the promise of good days ahead.