Sunday, January 20, 2008

You know how chocolate, raisins, grapes, garlic and onions are toxic to dogs? Well, I found out the hard way that so are macadamia nuts.
Yesterday morning Buddy did not want to get out of bed, not even for a pee. We litarally had to lift him out of bed and plunk him down in the backyard. He peed, and then within seconds he was back into bed. We knew he was having an off day, but didn't know what the problem was. A little while later, Buddy made his way into the living room to hang out with us, and that's when I noticed that he was limping and his hindquarters were shaking. I thought maybe we had run him too hard the day before, that maybe he had pulled a muscle.
I took him for a little walk to the park, and when he pooped I noticed the nuts. When we returned home, I mentioned the nut-poop to Greg and then, thinking I was being funny, I said "imagine if we poisoned our puppy?"
Lo and behold, thanks to WWW this is what I came up with:

The danger of macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts are another concern. A recent paper written by Dr. Ross McKenzie, a Veterinary Pathologist with the Department of Primary Industries, points to the danger of raw and roasted macadamia nuts for pets. The toxic compound is unknown but the affect of macadamia nuts is to cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated. Dogs have been affected by eating as few as six macadamia kernels (nuts without the shell) while others had eaten approximately forty kernels. Some dogs had also been given macadamia butter.Luckily, the muscle weakness, while painful, seems to be of short duration and all dogs recovered from the toxicity. All dogs were taken to their veterinary surgeon.
Pets owners should not assume that human food is always safe for pets. When it comes to chocolate, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts, such foods should be given in only small quantities, or not at all. Be sure that your pets can’t get into your stash of chocolates, that food scraps are disposed of carefully to prevent onion and garlic toxicity and that your dog is prevented from picking up macadamia nuts if you have a tree in your garden.

We immediately drove to the Vet, and he reassured us that Buddy would be fine once the nuts went through his system. I felt like the biggest loser dog parent ever. I would have never forgiven myself if he'd have died because I gave him people food. I never even have stupid macadamia nuts in the house, but we happened to receive a bag for Christmas and it seemed like a good idea to eat them the other night. We would have been better off eating a pound of lard, at least Buddy wouldn't have been poisoned.

The good news is, is that Buddy is back to normal and racing like the wind again. We've all learned our lesson: no more people treats for Buddy.


Pez said...

Nuts kill people too.

Glad Buddy is going to be ok!

Bob-kat said...

Poor Buddy! I totallt understand how awful you must have felt but don't beat yourself up about it. The main thing is that he is fine now adn I'm betting he still loves you just as much.

I just remembered. Awhile ago, while you were not blogging much for a bit, I awarded you the 'Nice Matters' award which you didn't claim. If you nwat it it is still there for you (don't worry if you don't). Just look under 'awards' under my labels :)

atpanda said...

Awe, poor pup! And poor you. I'd be beside myself. I'm so, so glad to hear that he's doing better.

Maria said...

Wow, I thought I was up to date on what poisons dogs, but macadamia nuts were not on my list of things to avoid. Thank you for the heads up. I am glad Buddy is doing better and I will certainly add nuts to my list of things to keep away from our new puppies.

Kristi said...

Poor baby! Don't beat yourself up about it. I'm aware of a lot of dangerous foods and plants for pets, but I have NEVER heard of macadamia nuts as being toxic. The good news is that he's fine and back to normal.