Many people have heard that nuts can be toxic or “bad” for dogs. The main truth to this is that nuts contain a high amount of fat and can therefore cause an upset stomach (gastroenteritis). However, in the case of Macadamia nuts, there is actually an unknown neuro toxin that can cause depression of the nervous system, nausea/vomiting, increased body temperature, and other neuromuscular changes. Toxic doses are around a ½ of a nut per pound but vary. Veterinary care should be sought out if your pet consumes these.
Sometimes when dogs grab a piece of moldy food out of the trash it is no big deal. However, other times it can cause gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, or worse. Beyond the common signs, some molds contain mycotoxin, specifically tremorgenic mycotoxins which as the name would allude to, can cause tremors. Beyond tremors and based on how much they ate, dogs may experience seizures, shaking, and ataxia. Treatment is supportive and focuses on decontamination and seizure/tremor control until signs pass.
Garlic and Onions:
These vegetables can cause significant issues for pets if they are consumed raw or even cooked as part of a specific dish. We have seen mild to potentially fatal doses. A specific toxin within them causes oxidative damage to red blood cells that leads to their destruction. In high quantities, pets may need blood transfusions to hold them over until their bone marrow can replace the destroyed cells. Severity of anemia and danger is dependent on how much they have consumed.
Raw bread dough:
Making pizza from scratch? Better to not let your pet eat any of the uncooked dough. If they do manage to consume this, beyond causing stomach bloating and upset, it can actually cause alcohol toxicity as the yeast continue to replicate in their stomach. We would recommend coming over on an emergency basis to induce vomiting and if needed, treat supportively.
Some people frequently give grapes to their dogs without consequence. However, they never should. They can idiosyncratically cause kidney failure that may not be reversible. It is not understood exactly why this occurs but due to the potential severity of signs; there is no safe quantity that should be fed to your pet. If they do manage to consume grapes or raisins, vomiting should be induced and fluids should be given in hospital for 2-3 days. During this period we check kidney function and sometime urine values on a daily bases to insure there are no signs of damage.
Author: Dr. Edward Aller