Almond Poisoning Average Cost

From 60 quotes ranging from $100 - 1,000

Average Cost

$300

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What is Almond Poisoning?

Properly processed almonds are not directly toxic to your dog but the canine system does not properly digest the proteins in nuts. Eating large quantities of almonds, whether all at once or frequent smaller amounts given regularly, can cause gastrointestinal distress, obesity, and pancreatitis. In addition to the dangers posed by the almonds themselves, they may also harbor Aspergillus mold. Dogs are particularly susceptible to the aflatoxin produced by this mold and exposure can have serious consequences for your pet.

Although almonds are not directly toxic to dogs they are not advised. The canine system is not designed to process nuts and they can cause gastrointestinal distress, obesity, and pancreatitis.

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Symptoms of Almond Poisoning in Dogs

Signs your dog recently overindulged

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Greasy appearing stools
  • Vomiting

Signs of Aflatoxin poisoning from Aspergillus mold

  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

Signs of pancreatitis

  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Orange urine
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Types

Types of almond that may be particularly problematic for your canine:

Bitter almond

Bitter almonds contain hydrogen cyanide when untreated. These almonds cannot be sold unrefined in the United States due to the danger of toxicity, but can be found in almond extract and liqueurs.

Chinese almonds

These are not actually almonds but rather the seeds of an apricot. They also contain trace amounts of cyanide and can be deadly if ingested in large amounts. The lethal dose for an adult human is 50-60 kernels and the lethal dose could be considerably smaller for your pet depending on the size of the dog.

Causes of Almond Poisoning in Dogs

Although properly processed almonds aren’t poisonous, in and of themselves almonds do present a number of secondary risks. These risks can include: 

Salt

Almonds that humans get to snack on for themselves often have salt and other seasonings added to them. Too much salt can cause increased water retention in dogs and possible injury to the kidneys. This can be particularly dangerous for dogs with heart conditions.

Aflatoxin

Aflatoxin is caused by the mold Aspergillus. Although aflatoxin levels in foods are only mildly toxic to humans, dogs are acutely sensitive to it There are often trace amounts of these molds on tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, and pistachios.  

High phosphorus content

The high phosphorus content in most nuts can eventually increase the likelihood of forming bladder stones. 

Choking

Dogs do not always chew their food as effectively as humans and this may lead to a choking hazard due to the hardness of the nut combined with its size and shape. 

Pancreatitis

Nuts are quite high in fat which is a primary contributor to developing pancreatitis, a painful illness which can considerably shorten your canine’s life.

Diagnosis of Almond Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms related to this condition will prompt your veterinarian to get a full history of the patient, taking particular note of what foods your pet had access to recently. Typically, a general physical examination will be given and a complete blood count and chemistry profile will be completed as well. Urine, stools, and vomitus will also be tested and may expose underlying diseases or toxins such as aflatoxin. A preliminary diagnosis based on the physical exam and history may prompt treatment even before the final diagnosis is completed.

Further testing will depend on the symptoms that are being exhibited. If your dog is showing signs of damage to the esophagus or showing signs of dehydration, an x-ray or ultrasound of the throat and chest area may be recommended to check for tearing of the esophagus or enlargement of the heart. Ultrasounds can be used to image the abdominal area and may reveal enlargement of the pancreas or fluid accumulation in this area.

Treatment of Almond Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment will depend on how the almonds have affected your pet. Supportive treatment will be given for any immediate concerns such as IV fluids for dehydration and medication will likely be prescribed to alleviate symptoms. These could include anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, or pain management medications which can be given intravenously or by an intramuscular injection.  In the event of aflatoxin poisoning, in particular, there is a risk of damage to the liver and vitamin K treatments and hepatoprotectants are often recommended. The supportive treatment is vital to the chances of recovery from aflatoxin as there is no antidote. In the event that your pet is vomiting persistently or severely as is sometimes seen with pancreatitis, your veterinarian may recommend a period of withholding food by mouth, sometimes for several days. The idea behind this treatment is to allow the pancreas to heal enough for the swelling to go down. If the dog is willing and able to eat on its own, several low-fat, low-protein, high-fiber meals are generally recommended per day to speed healing. Supplements of pancreatic enzymes can be given to relieve abdominal pain, but it usually does not alter the course of the disease itself.

Recovery of Almond Poisoning in Dogs

Making sure that your pet completes the full measure of their medications and keeping the recovering patient in a calm and quiet environment will help speed recovery. Medications such as antibiotics, stomach and liver protectants, and antacids may be prescribed to combat the symptoms. Dogs subjected to aflatoxin poisoning will likely need follow-up appointments to check their liver function. Dogs with pancreatitis will most often be placed on a diet restricted to low-fat, high-fiber foods for the remainder of their lives. Pancreatic enzyme supplementation, while unlikely to change the overall course of the disease, may provide some relief from the severe abdominal pain.

Almond Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Daisy
Mixed Chihuahua
11 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

no symptoms

We accidentally left one of the drawers open where my 11 month old dog could get into and she got into some almond extract. She drank a fair amount and she hasn't been doing anything suspicious but we were still wondering if she could possibly die or if she could get sick.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2484 Recommendations
Almonds are not toxic but can cause gastrointestinal issues and in large quantities may cause pancreatitis due to the high fat content. Keep an eye on her if she is otherwise in good spirits but visit your Veterinarian if you notice any concerning symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Flower
Terrier mix
10 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None yet

My terrier mix rescue is about 15 lbs. I inadvertently gave her a nibble (about 1/2 inch by 1/2 by 1/2 inch) piece of white cake that I had added almond extract to. After, I realized I hadn't looked up whether or not she could have that. By the time I get an answer, it will probably be too late to stop any symptoms that might show up, but I wanted to make sure I didn't hurt my baby.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1064 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. That small amount of almond extract shouldn't be a problem for her. If she develops any diarrhea or vomiting from the cake, she should be seen by your veterinarian, but you should be fine to monitor her for any signs. I hope that all goes well for Flower.

We have several Great Danes and our large male pup (nearly 18 months; approximately 175 lb.) found his way to a cake made with almond flour and butter for primary ingredients. I'm led to believe that I shouldn't facilitate any accelerated purging of the meal. I'm also inclined to modify his diet for potential inflammation of the pancreas. Any thoughts or advice would be welcomed input.

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Bully
Havanese
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

No

Medication Used

none

My 20lbs Havanese Bully has eaten a bit of some cookies (1-2 inch chunk) of a shortbread cookie that contains almond extract. He seems fine but I was wondering if I should be concerned? It’s been about an hour since he ate it and there has been no change.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1064 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. The amount of almond in the cookies should not be a concern for toxicity. It would be a good idea to monitor him for vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and inappetance, as the cookie might cause GI upset. If he is showing any of those signs, he should see his veterinarian. I hope that he does well!

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Storm
American bully
4 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I just arrived home and my four month old male American Bully name Storm appears to have eaten almonds. He was in his cage in the garage when I left him this morning. I get home and he is running around outside of his cage in the garage. I see remnants of almonds on the garage floor.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2484 Recommendations
Almonds are not toxic to dogs but may cause gastrointestinal upset and when consumed in large enough quantities may cause conditions like pancreatitis. Flavoured or salted almonds open up another category of risk from other potential poisons; it is important if you believe that Storm has consumed a large quantity of almonds (or flavoured almonds) that you visit your Veterinarian to assess Storm’s condition and to determine whether supportive care is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.akc.org/content/health/articles/can-dogs-eat-almonds/

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