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What is Avocado Poisoning?

There are certain types of avocado that are known to be poisonous due to the amount of persin in the avocado leaves, seeds, bark, and fruit. Studies have been conducted that show that avocado is not highly toxic to dogs; however, if a dog were to ingest the large seed (pit) of an avocado, it could cause illness. Avocado pits can cause blockages within the gastrointestinal tract and different varieties of avocado have varying amounts of persin. Avocado is highly toxic to horses, goats, birds, and cattle, and with dogs, depending on the amount they consume, can cause an upset stomach. The most toxic portion of an avocado is the leaf.

Avocado poisoning in dogs occurs when dogs ingest the pit of an avocado. The avocado pit contains a poisonous substance called persin, and, when ingested, can cause dogs to become ill. The avocado is potentially toxic, with the leaf being of most danger.

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Avocado Poisoning Average Cost

From 50 quotes ranging from $100 - $1,500

Average Cost

$200

Symptoms of Avocado Poisoning in Dogs

Avocado is not highly toxic to dogs; however, after consuming parts of an avocado your dog may develop specific symptoms. Symptoms can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty with producing stools
  • Myocardial damage (very rare, with 2 cases reported in the literature to date)

Types

Illness from eating an avocado may be confused with other conditions, especially if there is no evidence of avocado consumption. Differential diagnoses are:

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Intussusception
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Causes of Avocado Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of illness from ingesting avocado comes from the dog consuming the fruit, pit, stem or the leaves. Canines are thought to be relatively resistant to the poisonous effects of avocado, though there have been a few cases of toxicity documented. The consumption of large amounts will cause gastrointestinal irritation, and the pit of the avocado presents a danger due to the size, which can lead to an obstruction if swallowed. 

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Diagnosis of Avocado Poisoning in Dogs

If you know that your dog has consumed a large amount of avocado or the pit, call your veterinarian. Once you get to the veterinarian, he will check your dog for any clinical signs of distress and do a physical examination. The veterinarian may choose to do a urinalysis, blood work, and biochemistry profile, simply to check your dog’s system and to rule out any underling medical issues.

A definitive diagnosis of avocado poisoning is made by the veterinarian by looking at your dog’s symptoms and having knowledge of exposure and consumption of avocado. 

If your dog has ingested the pit, the vet may perform an abdominal scan or contrast x-ray to assess for a blockage.

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Treatment of Avocado Poisoning in Dogs

Since the degree of toxicity of avocados to dogs is quite debatable, the veterinarian will be the one to make the expert decisions concerning treatment. If the dog has ingested the avocado pit and it is lodged in his upper GI tract, the veterinarian will need to use an endoscope to locate the pit and remove it. If the pit is lower down, an abdominal surgery will be performed.

As for side effects from the persin, treatment methods may include:

Supportive care

Treatment will depend on the signs and may include an anti-nausea injection, intravenous fluids and ant-acids.

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Recovery of Avocado Poisoning in Dogs

Prognosis is considered good in many cases of avocado consumption. Once your dog is treated, he will more than likely recover just fine. In terms of a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract from the pit, this depends on the severity of blockage and the recovery from surgery to remove the pit. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for at-home recovery. The veterinarian will explain to you how to administer any analgesics or other medications, and will let you know of any side effects from these drugs. If any new symptoms occur or if you have any questions, it is important to contact the physician.

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Avocado Poisoning Average Cost

From 50 quotes ranging from $100 - $1,500

Average Cost

$200

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Avocado Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Ask a Vet

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Chihuahua Mix

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Sixteen Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, Trouble Breathing, Cannot Poop

She if having a hard time breathing and she ate a lot of avocado seeds... She vomited Most of them up! We took her to the vet and they did an x-ray... They said she had about five seeds left in her stomach. She needs to poop the rest out but she can’t.. It’s like she’s paralyzed.. She cannot move! We’ve been giving her a little bit of water and a little bit of food but she didn’t take the food.

July 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. Avocado pits can be toxic to dogs and can cause obstruction. Your dog may need surgery to remove these seeds. It would be best to take your dog back to the vet and see if they can possible remove these from her stomach. I hope your dog starts to feel better soon.

July 26, 2020

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Husky

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

My 4 month old husky ate parts of the leaves of my little avocado tree. Would that be enough to cause poisoning? So far no symptoms as it just occurred

July 13, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Most dogs will not show any signs from eating a little bit of a leaf. I would think that your dog will be just fine. If he does show any signs such as vomiting it would be best to take him to your vet.

July 13, 2020

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Avocado Poisoning Average Cost

From 50 quotes ranging from $100 - $1,500

Average Cost

$200

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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