Are all oak trees toxic to dogs?
By Judy from Plant City, FL
Yes, many people are surprised to hear that those beautiful, shady oak trees in the backyard that everyone, including the dog, loves to stretch out under can be a potential danger for their dog.
According to the ASPCA website, as well as Dr. Jon Geller, veterinarian with dogchannel.com, acorns contain gallotannin which, depending on the amount eaten, can cause gastrointestinal upsets in pets and other animals, with symptoms such as cramps, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, sometimes bloody diarrhea, and kidney failure. A few dogs may have seizures. Acorns swallowed whole have the potential to block the intestines, while chewed acorns release more toxin and the sharp pieces can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
The hard outer shell of an acorn contains the most gallotannin while green acorns contain more gallotannin than brown acorns. Small amounts may cause only mild illness but in severe cases, dogs have died of kidney failure from eating acorns. Dr. Geller even mentions that oak buds, bark, leaves, and drinking water that oak leaves have soaked in can cause illness in dogs.
Oak trees are the icon of strength and beauty and form a comfortable shade during hot summer but when leaves and acorns begin to fall, dog owners may be wise to keep an eye on the dog. Not all dogs will eat them but the little round objects can look an awful lot like a toy or something fun to play with. Dogs don't always know what is and is not good for them. Teething puppies, especially, have a tendency to investigate and taste everything. Some dog owners report that symptoms can show up quickly after ingestion or be delayed for several days.
Outside drinking water should be kept in a place where leaves can not fall into it and should be cleaned and changed every day. Good luck.
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