Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Acorn Dangers to Dogs

I was surprised to find that the beautiful Oak Tree may actually pose a danger to our dogs. This time of year here, if you have one of these shady trees, you can have almost as many acorns carpeting your backyard as you do their leaves. According to the ASPCA website, the acorn contains gallotannin which, depending on the amount eaten, can cause gastrointestinal upsets in pets and other animals. Symptoms can include cramps, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and kidney failure. Some dogs may even suffer with seizures. Obviously if the acorn is swallowed whole it has the potential to block the intestines, but the real threat comes when they are chewed. This releases more of the toxin. The hard outer shell contains the most gallotannin and green acorns contain more of it than the brown. Even when oak buds, bark, leaves, and drinking water that oak leaves have soaked in can cause illness in dogs. Small amounts may only cause mild illness but in severe cases, dogs have died of kidney failure from eating acorns.

So keep an eye on all your little furry friends when they venture outside this fall, especially if they like to investigate all kinds of little curious chewable objects.

Mary Ann

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