The start of autumn also happens to coincide with harvest time. Some backyard “crops” can cause a problem for our pets if ingested, therefore it may be a good time to review some of the possible dangers.

Peach, nectarine, apricots, apples, cherries and plums all pose a potential threat. Many of the fruits drop to the ground and become an irresistible temptation for dogs. Ingestion of large amounts of fruits, especially partly fermented fruits, can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The pits can obviously also become stuck in the intestines causing obstruction and requiring surgery to be removed. The seed of these fruits also contain amygdalin which is broken down in the body to form cyanide.

Other fruits to avoid are grapes and raisins which can cause kidney damage even if ingested in relatively small quantities. Onions, garlic and chives can cause upset tummies but if eaten in significant quantities can also cause red blood cells to break down causing anaemia. Avocados can also cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Nuts are also ready to be harvested at this time.  In the animal world there are “good” nuts and “bad” nuts.  Peanuts, cashews and hazelnuts, in reasonable quantities, are OK for dogs to eat but avoid macadamias, pistachios, walnuts and almonds.  Some of these nuts cause neurological symptoms/seizures and some, because of their high oil content can cause tummy upsets and pancreatitis. Also remember that salted nuts are not suitable for pets and beware also of nuts that appear mouldy. They may be contaminated by a fungus that produces aflatoxins which can cause irreparable damage to the liver.  It may be best to just avoid nuts altogether!

Please also remember that rat and snail poisons are also extremely dangerous for our pets. If you even suspect that your pet has ingested one of these poisons it is best to contact us immediately. If the poison has recently been ingested inducing vomiting may be all that is required. If toxicity has started we will need to hospitalize and stabilize your pet and remove futher toxins from their system if possible.