Vet’s warning as 'alarming' trend in toxic encounters continues: ‘Hide it or eat it’

Vet hospitals have been inundated with pets who ingested unhealthy Easter food.

People have been urged to "hide or eat" their leftover Easter treats after vet hospitals were inundated with dogs suffering from dangerous ingestions over the weekend.

It is well-known chocolate is unhealthy for dogs but sultanas and other grape-like fruits found in hot cross buns can also inflict "irreversible" health issues, with a vet warning families could have a false sense of security given some dogs aren't impacted while others can face fatal consequences.

"If you're from a family that you've been lucky enough to never see the effects of grape toxicity then you could be perpetuating that idea that it's safe, but it's not for all dogs," vet Tim Hopkins from Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) told Yahoo News. "Those dogs that are affected can suffer kidney injuries and can be irreversible. We don't know why some dogs are susceptible and others are not."

A beagle looks unwell lying beside chocolate wrappers which vets removed from inside its body (left). A dog looks sombre strapped up to a drip, with Aussies urged to 'hide or eat' Easter treats (right).
Pet owners have been urged to 'hide or eat' Easter treats after vet hospitals were inundated with animals ingesting unhealthy treats. Source: Supplied

The warning comes after 21 animals were treated across the five SASH vet clinics over the weekend for hot cross bun ingestions, with some only eating "very small quantities" of the fruit.

Chocolate is 'very, very dangerous' for dogs

However unlike grapes and other similar dried fruits, chocolate toxicity is universal within dogs and the sweet treat is deemed "very, very dangerous", with 77 animals requiring urgent care over the weekend at SASH clinics.

He noted deliberate feeding of chocolate is now very "rare" but problems arise when dogs manage to gain access to "unguarded" chocolate in the home, with small quantities again posing large risks.

"With the chocolates, I think it's mostly about unguarded chocolates or a particularly ingenious dog," he said. "We have seen over the weekend, cases that would have otherwise been fatal, given the amount of chocolate that was ingested."

"It's alarming and we see it annually. There's no shortage of warnings in the lead-up to holidays."

Vet encourages pet owners to 'eat or hide' Easter treats

The advice is simple from vets — simply don't give dogs human food unless "100 per cent" sure it doesn't pose a threat.

"Hide it or eat it. Do something with it so that it's out of the scope of a greedy beagle or food-motivated labrador. They're going to be thinking about it as much if not more than you," Hopkins said.

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