Spring time!

Spring time!

The days are finally stretching more daylight, flower bulbs are starting to emerge, and blossoms will be blowing in the wind.  

Have you spotted any Daffodils (and other Narcissus species), Crocuses, Hyacinths, or Tulips? Unfortunately, they can be toxic to your pet. If your dog or cat tries to eat them, they can lead to gastrointestinal signs such as oral irritation salivation, vomiting, and diarrhoea but also sometimes respiratory or neurological signs depending on the volume and species eaten. These flowers often appear outside on your walks but beware if you have any house pots too. Your pet can be harmed by eating the bulbs, stems, leaves, or flowers. Here are a few signs you may see: 

  • Crocus ingestion can lead to vomiting and or diarrhoea 
  • Narcissus species can lead to gastrointestinal signs, low blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and sometimes neurological signs such as tremors or seizures
  • Hyacinth can lead to gastrointestinal signs and skin irritation or mouth irritation due to chemicals in the plant 
  • Tulips can lead to irritation and allergic reactions, gastrointestinal signs, sometimes difficulty breathing, and a fast heart rate. 


The signs can occur rapidly or take up to 24 hours to appear. The smaller the amount ingested, the fewer signs may be seen, but remember the bulbs have the greatest concentration of toxins and dogs tend to eat more of the plant than cats. Deaths from eating Narcissus species are rare but can occur too. 
So be aware and if this happens, please call your veterinary surgeon immediately and try to gently rinse out your pet’s mouth with water. Your vet may suggest (depending on how much is eaten) making your pet vomit, and this will need to be done as soon as possible at the veterinary clinic (as an injection needs to be given) after ingestion. Do not try to make your pet sick yourself! 

While the smell of spring blossoms welcomes the change of season, dogs can develop allergies. They could be allergic to anything from fleas to plants to food and you may notice that they start to become itchy, sneezing, or having watery eyes. It is that time of year when seasonal allergies may be the culprit due to spring pollens.  

You will notice that allergy symptoms present quite differently from the toxic flower bulbs we have just discussed. Allergies can show as being itchy, chewing their feet, developing ear infections (as the skin of the ear is part of the skin) or the skin becoming red, thickened and maybe some spots breaking out or becoming weepy. There are many causes of skin disease, but allergies are one of them. They can also show respiratory signs, although there are other causes of these such as viral infections. The respiratory signs might be sneezing and snuffling, a runny nose, or watery eyes. Check out our last blog about allergiesto learn more about them. 
Please see your vet if any of these signs develop as investigations can be done. There are treatments available so ask your vet for further help.