Food items that are super healthy for human beings might not always be suitable for dogs. One such example is the famous fruit, which is a powerhouse of nutrients – avocado!
If you thought you could let your canine friend share an avocado while you eat, think again! Avocados are harmful to dogs. As a fruit that is bad for your dog, it can make your pet very sick.
When it comes to toxicity of avocado for the dogs, a lot depends on how much of the fruit the dog consumes. Here are a few common facts to know about avocado and dogs to ensure that you keep your favorite pet safe and healthy.
1. Blame the persin!
Persin is a component that resembles fatty acid in its structure.
However, it is toxic to some animals, dogs in particular. Persin is mainly found in the seed of avocado fruits. It leaches into the fruit, slowly making the fruit toxic to dogs. There are several types of avocados. Among them, Guatemalan avocados are the most toxic.
Persin is not toxic to human beings but can trigger allergic reactions in some. However, the effect can be more intense in dogs. It is not just about the persin content but also the presence of high amounts of fat in the fruit. This can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. Avocado pulp, though harmful, is not lethal in dogs. However, there is a spectrum of symptoms to look out for.
2. Which part of the fruit is harmful?
The pit of avocado fruit is the most harmful part of the fruit for dogs. One major issue is that avocado pit is not easy to digest. Given the small size, dogs can easily swallow the pit and then struggle later on. The real trouble comes when this pit gets stuck in the intestinal tract where it doesn’t come out when the dog passes stools. Surgical intervention would be required at this stage to remove the pit.
The pulp of avocado is rich in fats the content is too high for a dog’s stomach to handle. Even in small amounts, the pulp of this fruit is bad for the dog’s digestive system. One of the most common reactions that a dog shows due to the consumption of avocado pulp is inflammation of the pancreas.
If you have an avocado plant at home, there comes the question of the toxicity in the other parts of the avocado tree. Skin to bark and leaves of the tree might all contain the fungicidal toxin, persin. Even in small portions, persin is bad for the dog. To keep the dog safe, it should be kept away from every part of the avocado fruit and tree.
3. What are the signs of avocado poisoning in dogs?
Keeping avocados in your kitchen out of your dog’s reach is easy. However, if your pet ends up munching on a few leaves or the bark from your avocado tree in the garden, you should look out for the signs.
These are common symptoms that are likely to occur in dogs when they consume avocado fruit, leaves, or bark-
- Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms. It is accompanied by vomiting in most cases. This mainly occurs as the fruit causes gastrointestinal irritation in dogs.
- Some dogs also suffer from constipation or struggle and wail while passing stools.
- Abdominal pain is another symptom in dogs. This can make the dog cranky or affect his appetite and diet consumption patterns.
- Bloating occurs in some dogs as a mild symptom
- Irritability, lethargy and general weakness are other signs
If you know that your dog had accidentally consumed even a small piece of avocado, look out for the above signs. Any abnormalities that occur in the dog one or two days post-consumption of the fruit can indicate a negative reaction in your dog. Seek the help of a veterinarian immediately to help mitigate the effects.
There have been severe cases where the dog acquired myocardial damage due to the impact of avocados. In pregnant dogs as well as young pups, the severity of the symptoms might be higher. Mastitis is a common problem caused by this fruit in lactating dogs.
While the fruit can cause some serious issues in most pets, dogs are known to be the most resilient to the toxicity of this fruit. However, the actual health problems that occur vary from one dog to another.
Even if the fruit does no damage to the dog’s digestive system, it can lead to obesity and unwanted weight gain. Pulpy fruits like this can easily lead to dental problems in dogs as they get trapped between the teeth. In some way or the other, negative effects of this fruit are prone to occur in dogs. It is, therefore, a good idea to avoid giving avocados to your dog.
4. Treatment options
The actual treatment that follows the consumption of avocado depends on how the dog’s body reacts. Whatever be the effect, the dog might be in pain or discomfort. To ease this, the veterinarian might give a mild analgesic, to begin with. Antiarrhythmic drugs might be given in some cases or even diuretics. This is particularly in the cases where the dog has consumed a whole fruit or a large amount of it.
As dogs are not too vulnerable to poisoning from avocado, treatment is simple. When you take the dog to your veterinarian on time, symptoms subside quickly. This can also prevent bigger problems like pancreatic swelling. The actual medicines prescribed depend on the combination of symptoms that occur.
The reaction that a dog shows depend on the dog’s age, breed, body weight, and other factors. Some dogs show immediate signs, and others might show signs of indigestion in a few hours. Keep a close eye on your dog for 24-48 hours to identify any signs of illness.
Remember that your dog can get the pit out of your trash or the fruit peels from your kitchen. If you have a dog at home and if there are avocados in your kitchen, take extra care. There are other healthy fruits that you can give your dog instead.