Spring Animal Concerns: Ticks are Back, Lilies are Toxic

Dr. Robert McClellan Reminds Pet Owners That Easter Lilies Are Toxic for Cats

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Spring is an exciting time for many Northland residents, however, with the excitement and adventures comes concern for our four-legged friends.

Dr. Bob McClellan with Superior Animal Hospital says it’s important to be proactive, and on the lookout as the weather starts to warm, especially with the Easter holiday weekend coming up.

“Probably our best sentinels for ticks are four-legged creatures out running in the woods because they’re going to go places we might not even go and pick up the ticks,” said Dr. McClellan.

It only takes a little bit of sunshine to welcome back those creepy crawly arachnids.

“The deer tick is the one that carries the diseases we’re concerned about,” said Dr. McClellan.

When it comes to ticks, he says there are two diseases to be on the lookout for — Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis.

“Both of them can present similarly, but they’re very different in how they affect the host,” said Dr. McClellan.

If your animal is experiencing a fever, lack of appetite, cough, or seems to be lethargic, it’s time to seek help as quickly as possible.

Anaplasmosis can transmit into humans or animals within 24 hours. For Lyme disease, transmission can occur within 48 hours.

Aside from the terrible effects of ticks, it’s also a time to be on the lookout for seasonal plants, such as Easter lilies.

“Unfortunately it’s a silent killer,” said Dr. McClellan. “If you have kitties, no lilies. That’s just hands down, 100%.”

Just this week, staff at Superior Animal Hospital have dealt with the effects of a cat coming into contact with an Easter lily – and there will likely be more cases before the weekend wraps up.

“We’ve already had a kitty that just bit into a leaf. It’s good to be aggressive — you can’t wait until the next day,” said Dr. McClellan.

If action isn’t taken right away, the cat could experience kidney failure or death.

“Even one bit of a leaf or parts of the lilies is toxic to cats,” said Dr. McClellan.

Dr. McClellan says it’s also important to avoid feeding your dogs any kind of pork scraps, or ham bones which can be common around Easter.

Also, there is a vaccine available for Lyme disease, and it’s highly effective. Click here for more information regarding the vaccination.

Categories: Animal Answers, Community, News, News – Latest News