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St. Paddy’s Day and Your Pets

Photo by Katie Bernotsky on Unsplash

It is March, so that means St. Patrick’s Day! Lots of green, beer, and green beer. If you partake in green libations, be sure to keep them out of reach of your pets. It is not the green dye that causes a problem, it is the alcohol. If a pet drinks enough alcohol, they can go into a coma and/or have seizures. Other signs that your pet may have ingested alcohol are disorientation, vocalization, difficulty walking, sedation, and stomach upset. If you suspect your pet may have ingested too much alcohol, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Another toxin to make your day unlucky is clover or shamrock. Oxalis acetosella is the common type and if enough is eaten, it can be toxic causing vomiting, weakness, panting, facial rubbing, muscle fasciculations, and seizures. Renal damage is due to both the calcium oxalate crystal formation and direct cellular and vascular damage of the oxalates. This sounds scary but most pets are unable to get into a large enough amount of plant material to cause any signs. Many pets who ingest a small amount of shamrock plant material can be monitored at home. 

If you have an animal poison emergency, call the ASPCA  24-hour veterinary diagnostic and treatment hotline: 888-426-4435 (Fee)

Having a St. Patrick’s Day Party? Your pets may need a break from the excitement. If the celebration is likely to be too much for your pet, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use a crate to confine them in a quiet room with a distraction like a radio or television.  
  • For those pets that are prone to anxiety, you can partially cover the crate to create more of a den. 
  • Soft lighting helps calm them as well. 
  • Reassure your pet with a calm, soothing voice. 
  • As a responsible pet owner, you must also know that if something causes significant anxiety in your pet, you may want to forego the events altogether. Use good judgment. 

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