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Are Macadamia Nuts toxic to my dog? How to tell!

Macadamia Nuts poisoning in pets

Macadamia nuts have grown in popularity over the years!

You can find them in cookies with chocolate, or you can find them in assorted nut mixes with other types of nuts.  If you have expensive tastes, you can buy snack-size packs of just macadamia nuts at the grocery store.

The majority of these nuts either come from Australia or Hawaii (fun fact!), but are imported throughout the world.

This type of exposure is more common in dogs than in cats.

These nuts can cause some interesting signs in pets, but while these signs are alarming, they tend to go away on their own within 48 hours.

Signs of exposure to Macadamia Nuts

No one is quite sure why macadamia nuts cause the signs they do, but they tend to produce some pretty specific signs:

  • Weakness, stiffness, or paralysis in the hind limbs (sometimes resulting in the inability to walk)
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Stumbling
  • Ataxia
  • Tremors
  • Increases in body temperature

Treatment

In many cases, inducing vomiting before signs occur may help reduce the severity of these signs.  There is no antidote for macadamia nuts, but because the signs go away on their own, the vast majority of exposures don’t require veterinary care.  However involving your vet will help not only reduce the severity of the signs, but help prevent them from being absorbed into the body.

Confinement in a kennel is a good idea for animals who have been exposed, and dog owners may find themselves having to walk their dog in a sling to help support the back legs when they go out to potty. You can click on the thumbnail below to find these on Amazon, or just use a towel at home:

sling

There have been no reported deaths due to macadamia nuts, and the signs should fade on their own within 48 hours.

For those of you who were hoping to see something about marijuana, don’t worry!  It will get a post of its own!

Wanting to see more of these types of medical posts?  Let me know in the comments!

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