Spring has sprung, and with the change of season it’s time for spring cleaning and tackling home improvement projects. While it’s an exciting time to get started on new things, here’s a few tips from our friends at Fisher Glen Animal Hospital to help keep your pets safe and healthy.

*If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian, and report the incident to the City of Ottawa Bylaw by calling 3-1-1.

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Guest Post by Dr. Jane Gates

Spring is here, the snow is melting, and that can expose your pet to some hazards to be aware of!

Antifreeze: with the muddy, wet weather everybody is filling up their washer fluid. Ethylene glycol, the active component in antifreeze, is very toxic to pets, causing kidney failure, and is apparently quite tasty. Keep your antifreeze well out of the reach of your pet, and if you have a puddle of it soak it up with kitty litter. If you suspect your pet may have ingested some, have them seen by a veterinarian immediately – time is of the essence!

Melting ice: every year we hear about another person going through the ice to save their dog. Do not allow your dog off-leash around partially iced bodies of water, and if they do go in, call 911, do not risk your life.

Poisonous plants: remember that there are many toxic plants out there that may be making their appearance. Flowers such as lilies, for example, can be extremely toxic, so if your pet likes to graze, make sure they stay clear of the garden! For more information please go to http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

Poop: As winter withdraws, it leaves behind lot of poop presents! These may contain parasites such as roundworm, so make sure you have a stool sample checked regularly and that your pet is dewormed at least four times a year.

Spring cleaning: if you get the spring cleaning bug, remember that many of these products are quite toxic or irritating, so keep them out of reach of your pet. For more information check out this website http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/poisonous-household-products.

Ticks: although we tend to think of ticks and the diseases they carry as being a concern during warm weather, they are actually active above 4 degrees Celcius. Year-round protection is now recommended for most dogs to help protect against lyme disease. And make sure that you take precautions yourself as you walk outdoors.

Fisher-Glen-64-smlAbout Dr. Jane Gates

Dr. Gates pretty much knew that she always wanted to be a vet – or an archaeologist (a brief, misguided phase in high school). She loved the combination of science and medicine and being with animals and their owners. She also has a Master of Journalism (that whole left brain right brain thing), and works periodically as a book editor and technical writer. She is currently Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Animal Emergency, our sister co-operative after-hours emergency clinic on Lola St.

Her favourite things are, in no particular order, learning, laughing and loving. She has an amazing husband, Dan, two children, and two Russian dwarf hamsters named Poppy and Penny. She is an avid dressage rider, practices yoga and barre classes (ommm) and power walking, loves cooking (and eating!), and enjoys cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter. She has, over the years, been involved in volunteer activities ranging from Sunday school teacher to helper in riding programs for the disabled. Not a hockey fan in the least, but does have to put up with her husband watching it.