- Acorns contain chemical called gallotannin which can cause sickness
- If swallowed whole they can can cause dangerous intestinal blockages
- Warning was issued after four-year-old dog called Max was poisoned
- He was given injection make him sick and a haul of 30 acorns discovered
Fiona Macrae, Science Editor For The Daily Mail
Vets have warned that acorns can be deadly for dogs, after a labrador was poisoned by the nuts.
While they look harmless, acorns contain a chemical called gallotannin which can make pets seriously ill and, in some cases, prove fatal.
Gallotannin, which is found in young oak leaves as well as acorns, can cause tiredness, pain, vomiting, diarrhoea – and damage the liver and kidneys. If swallowed whole, the acorns themselves can cause dangerous intestinal blockages.
Vets have warned that acorns can be deadly for dogs, after a labrador was poisoned by the nuts
The warning was issued after a four-year-old dog called Max was poisoned. Max, who lives with owner Wendy Orlando in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, had been taken for a walk in the woods last Friday.
When he returned home, he became lethargic, refused to settle and started to drool. Mrs Orlando contacted her local vet, who gave Max an injection to make him sick. Within minutes, the source of his discomfort was revealed – a haul of around 30 acorns.
Max was also given charcoal to absorb any pieces of acorn still lurking in his guts and blood tests showed his liver and kidneys to be healthy.
Sarah Solomon, of Heath Vets in Burgess Hill, which treated Max, said: ‘While it can be difficult to watch your dog’s every move when out walking them, it is important to try and ensure they don’t eat or play with acorns due to the toxic ingredient.
‘If Max hadn’t been treated so quickly, the outcome may have been very different.
‘Be aware of the symptoms of toxicity and if you are concerned in any way about your pet, contact your vets immediately.’
The warning was issued after a four-year-old dog called Max (file image of a labrador) was poisoned
Other tips include teaching dogs to obey ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it’ commands and taking healthy treats and toys along on autumn walks where there are likely to be acorns underfoot.
Sheep and cows are also susceptible to acorn poisoning, although pigs and squirrels seem immune to the danger.
This may be because their bodies digest the acids in the nuts differently or because they discard the gallotannin-rich shells before eating the flesh.
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