August 17, 2017

Heath Veterinary Clinic warns dog owners about acorns

Heath Veterinary Clinic
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Heath Veterinary Clinic in Burgess Hill and Hurstpierpoint is warning dog owners of the dangers of acorns. The veterinary clinic has recently had a case of a dog becoming very ill from eating these seemingly innocuous nuts.

Max, a four year-old Yellow Labrador, had been playing in the woods when he ate an acorn without his owners knowing. Late Friday night, they noticed Max becoming lethargic, acting out of character, unable to settle and drooling excessively, so they contacted Heath Vets who advised them to bring Max into the clinic straight away.

He was examined by vet Nicky Chinneck who was concerned that Max had ingested, or come into contact with, something toxic. She quickly gave him an emetic injection which induces vomiting. Within minutes, Max vomited up a large quantity of acorns.

It is common for dogs to be exposed to acorns during the autumn and winter months. Acorns contain tannic acid, which is believed to be the toxic component, and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Signs of toxic illness can include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, a lack of appetite and lethargy. Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage.

The clinic staff fed Max charcoal enhanced food to absorb any remaining remnants of the acorns in his stomach and intestines. Max’s initial blood tests show that his liver and kidneys have not been affected by the toxin but he will have further tests done after a week to check there is no lasting damage.

Sarah Solomon, Practice Manager at Heath Vets, said: “Max’s owners acted quickly so Max should make a full recovery. Whilst it can be difficult to watch your dog’s every move when out walking them, it’s 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.”

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