With warm weather and green grass returning, Spring is the perfect time to talk about babies. Outside, baby bunnies are out and about, and while it is concerning to see them alone and vulnerable, they are likely OK. Adult rabbits normally leave their precocious babies alone for large portions of the day. If you find a baby, and it is in a safe location, leave it where it is so its parents can find it again. If it is in danger, it is okay to move it to a safe area nearby and keep an eye on it. Just like humans, the rabbit parents will look for their baby.
As for babies inside the house, one of the best things we can do for a new young member of the family is make sure proper nutrition is provided. There is such dramatic growth and development in the first year for young animals that it is critical we provide the proper building blocks for a long and healthy life. Whether your newest pet has scales, feather, or fur, a discussion about the best options for growth is well worth your time.
Spring is also, unfortunately, the time of allergy flares. With all sorts of pollen and particulate matter in the air, allergies that may have been controlled over the winter may suddenly get worse. If your four footed friend seems to scratching a lot more, we may need to recheck the skin and adjust medications to keep them comfortable, and prevent irritation from becoming infection.
Last but not least, Easter and all of the delicious chocolate treats that come with it. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, the toxic component being the methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine). The degree of toxicity depends on the type of chocolate, and the size of the dog. The darker the chocolate, the higher the methylxanthine content, and the more dangerous it is. Fortunately, the average Easter treat is milk chocolate, which has a low caffeine content. A small amount consumed by a medium sized dog is likely to only cause an upset stomach (limited vomiting or diarrhea, drinking more, and bloating). If a higher dose of methylxanthines is consumed (small dogs, large amounts of chocolate, or dark chocolate), clinical signs can become more severe, including such things as peeing a lot, hyperactivity, wobbly walking, tremors/seizures, and a high heart rate. If you canine has consumed chocolate, the best idea is to contact the clinic, or emergency services, immediately to get guidance.
Get outside! Enjoy the sunshine, and all the wonderful things that come with Spring.