Black Walnut Poisoning Average Cost

From 597 quotes ranging from $500 - 6,000

Average Cost

$2,000

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What is Black Walnut Poisoning?

Poisoning of canines and horses by the black walnut is well documented. Though it is most commonly thought that the nut, when subjected to mold, is the toxic component of the tree studies have shown that eating wood from the black walnut tree can cause poisoning in dogs as well. Horses exposed to black walnut shavings may develop laminitis (an inflammatory condition in the hoof wall) which causes lameness and pain in as little as 8 hours of exposure. Ponies may suffer from respiratory difficulties when exposed.

Canines who ingest moldy husks and nuts from the black walnut tree are in particular danger because the mold is a potent fungal neurotoxin. Tremors and seizures are seen at the height of the poisoning. Aggressive treatment is required with black walnut poisoning in dogs.

The black walnut tree is known for the beautiful quality wood it produces, and the tree is grown and harvested for its premium hardwood. The black walnut tree is native in many areas of North America and also produces an edible nut. Pet owners need to be aware of the dangers of this tree; ingestion of the wood or of the nuts and shells can result in a lethal toxicity to canines.

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Symptoms of Black Walnut Poisoning in Dogs

The black walnut tree is thought to be one of the top 5 trees poisonous to large animals. Horses can experience sweating, fever, colic, and lameness when black walnut shavings are used in their stalls. Dogs may show the following symptoms after ingestion of the black walnut wood or nut.

  • Panting
  • Restlessness
  • Excess salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Tremors in the muscles
  • Fever
  • Hyperresponsiveness to stimuli
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage (signs could be jaundice, abdominal pain, and fatigue)
  • Death

Types

Toxicity can result from ingestion of the wood, nut, husks, and shells. Typically it is thought that the main source of poison is the mold that develops after a rainy period. The walnuts may appear to be in a state of decomposition and are black or brown in color.

Causes of Black Walnut Poisoning in Dogs

The black walnut tree is of the scientific family Juglandaceae and is also known as Juglans nigra

  • The husks of the walnuts found on the ground and consumed by dogs contain the mycotoxin Penitrem A 
  • This toxin is produced by the mold penicillium
  • Bread and cheese also produce this mold
  • Neurologic and musculoskeletal signs may be seen
  • Buried walnuts can become available for consumption by dogs at any time of year but spring is thought to be the most problematic time
  • Black walnut mold is common in shady, wet areas

Diagnosis of Black Walnut Poisoning in Dogs

Raking up the area under the tree is a good way to avoid the ingestion of the walnut by your dog. However, the tree is common in many areas all over North America, including parks where you and your canine companion may take walks. If you see that your dog has ingested wood  from the black walnut tree, or are aware that he has eaten the walnuts that have fallen from the tree, be sure to bring a specimen to the veterinary clinic. Having a plant or nut to identify is helpful to the veterinarian as symptoms of other poisonings (such as chocolate or pesticides) can be similar in presentation. Do not wait for symptoms to appear as a lethal toxicity is highly possible, particularly if the nuts and husks are brown or black in color.

The veterinarian may confirm the diagnosis based on clinical signs and plant identification. If your pet is vomiting, analysis of the vomitus and stomach contents will aid in the diagnosis. A urinalysis may indicate if the liver or kidneys have been affected; blood tests will not add to the diagnosis but can provide baseline markers for the treatment.

Treatment of Black Walnut Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment of black walnut poisoning in your pet will depend on how much of the wood or moldy nut was consumed, and how much time lapsed between the exposure and the clinical appointment. Early intervention is key to a timely recovery. Elimination of the toxin as soon as possible is essential. Your dog will be admitted to the hospital in order to facilitate removal of the poison from the body, and to give supportive treatment.

Gastric Lavage

This is a procedure whereby the stomach is flushed with fluids in order to remove any remaining nuts or plant material from the body, Activated charcoal is administered after the procedure to bind any remaining toxins.

Intravenous Fluids

Giving fluids by intravenous will also help the organs of the body to flush the poison from the system. With the aid of extra liquids provided by the intravenous, the kidneys and liver can resume proper function. Medications needed to control seizures, and drugs to help pass the plant material through the body will be prescribed at this time as well.  Balancing of the electrolytes and other health markers can be taken care of in this stage of the treatment.

Recovery of Black Walnut Poisoning in Dogs

Bothe fatality and recovery are recorded in black walnut poisoning in dogs. Recovery may take two to five days, and once home your dog will require additional care. Rest, a quiet place to recover, and support from all family members will be needed. Do not place expectations on your pet as he may need time to get back to normal. The poisoning by black walnut may leave him fatigued and depressed; patience and care on your part will help him in the recovery process. If at any time you are concerned about the rate of recovery, contact your veterinarian. A follow-up appointment will most likely be necessary so the veterinarian can assess the health of your dog. 

If you have the black walnut on your property, strict adherence to a raking protocol should be followed on a daily basis. Block access to the area where the black walnut tree is located. If the black walnut is located in the area where you usually walk your dog, a change of exercise venue is a must.

Black Walnut Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

jake
white lab
5years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

our yard is full of black walnut husks and small brances which he walks on. Sometimes he chews on the sticks and is always walking on the brown or black husks from the walnuts.Comes in house and chews hard and quite long on all his feet.one foot even shows some blood at times

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
It is the mold that grows on the black walnuts which is dangerous for dogs, although it is possible that walking on the husks may cause irritation to the paws which is causing Jake to chew on them. You should try to clean up the debris from black walnut (husks, branches etc…) and clean Jakes paws to remove any dirt and to look for any injury; keep him under observation for a day or two and see how he goes, if you have further concerns have your Veterinarian check him out. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ruby
Pitchow
9 Months
Fair condition
2 found helpful
Fair condition

My dog licked a squished black walnut on the ground for only a second beforw i stopped her. This was only about 30 minuets ago and she has shown no signs of black walnut poisoning, but im still very worried about her. If she hasnt actually eaten it and only licked it for a moment, will she be okay? Also, about how long does it take for the first symptoms to appear.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
If Ruby just licked the squashed black walnut she should be alright, just rinse her mouth out to be on the safe side; black walnuts are not poisonous themselves but it is a mold which grows on them which may cause symptoms of poisoning. Monitor her for the time being and if you notice any symptoms visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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sunshine
Basset Hound
9 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Panting

We have a rescued basset hound who is approximately 9 years old. She is heart worm free and we have been giving her Trifexis. I want to stop the Trifexis because to administer it to her I have to place it in the back of her throat and massage her throat until she swallows it. She is lethargic and has loss of appetite for several days afterwards. I visited a local pet store and was given Black Walnut as a heart worm preventive. She weighs around 46 lbs so they recommended 1/4 tsp 3 times a week in her food. Yesterday was her first dose and last evening she was panting a lot. She seemed fine this morning. What do you recommend for heart worm prevention?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

Many owners are not comfortable with the method of administering tablets to their dogs and other alternatives which are herbal or plant based may not be as effective; for a simple one stop shop product, I would recommend selamectin which is found in the product Revolution which is effective for a range of internal and external parasites and it administered as a spot-on treatment (liquid). The prescribing information and other details may be found on the link below. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.revolution4dogs.com/images/revo-pi.pdf

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Ruka
Bull/Staffie Terrier
5 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Dry Mouth

My little girl is usually full of life and super energetic but has turned lethargic over the last two days. She has vomited several times, licks her lips like she has a dry mouth and lost her appetite completely. She is still drinking water but there is definitely something wrong with her.
We DO have black walnuts fall into our yard and I've seen her chewing on them in the yard. I immediately stop her but I'm thinking that she's been affected by them, especially after reading other people's accounts of their pet's toxicity. Please advise of treatment.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
Apart from inducing vomiting or a gastric lavage, there is only supportive care options available for black walnut poisoning; it is important to keep Ruka hydrated during this time. I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian as you are unsure whether the cause is the black walnuts since lethargy and dry mouth are vague symptoms at best. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jemma
Boston Terrier
3 YEARS
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I believe my dog chewed up very little of a walnut hull. She took a normal bowel movement this morning, but noticed she was squating to poop and nothing came out. But just awhile ago she dribbled( diaharea) very small amount and had little slim in it. She is just laying around now, doesn't look like she is in any pain at all. What I was wondering is how much would she have to injest to get sick?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
It really depends on whether or not the walnut husk was moldy; the black walnut causes some gastrointestinal symptoms but it is when the walnut or the husk get mold that the serious symptoms present themselves. You should keep an eye on Jemma and try to prevent any future consumption of black walnut, if she is straining too much or you notice the symptoms on this page visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Theo
Boston Terrier
8 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Today our dog who is a half pug half Boston or a Bugg was out side we were playing and running around I was in the garage working and i kept hearing a crunch sound so i poked my head around the corner and he's eating walnuts that have fallen from the neighbors tree and it's been raining quite a bit. Well I went to our store and then came home two hours later and he's not acting right at all and I am a wood worker and know that walnut can be harmful so i don't know what to do wait it out until the morning and go to our local vet or take him to the animal hospital

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
Black walnut may cause some gastrointestinal issues, but the problem is if there is mold growing on the walnuts or husks; if it has been sometime, it would be best to visit your local Veterinarian and have his stomach decontaminated and for him to receive fluid therapy if required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Glacier
Boxer
10 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

We have a boxer mix that was diagnosed with black walnut poisoning after chewing on sticks from the tree. He stayed with the emergency vet overnight and is now home. He was napping and very difficult to wake, similar to his behavior provoking the trip to the vet. I am nervous about continuing to give the muscle relaxer prescribed because of this. What exactly is the muscle relaxer given for in this situation? Would you recommend continuing this medication?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
Muscle relaxants are generally given in these cases to manage tremors which are a common symptom in black walnut poisoning; recovery can take a few days and Glacier may be groggy for a few more days after. I cannot recommend whether you should take Glacier off the muscle relaxants as he isn’t under my duty of care but would recommend calling your Veterinarian to discuss his present condition. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Marley
Husky mix Lab
4 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Hi my dog started to throw up brown thick saliva with a bit of chuncks in it. Shes done this 4 times now within 20 mins and then took a poo. It looked normal but very dark brown(almost black) but when i picked it up it was very wet. She is very sleepy and I am getting a bit worried. I have a black walnut tree in my backyard and I think its from those because she plays with them all the time.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
Black walnut poisoning should always be considered if it is in Marley’s environment; gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting are usually first to present and may be followed by neurological symptoms or liver damage. If you suspect that Marley has consumed some black walnut, Veterinary attention is important with either clearance of the stomach and fluid therapy. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ramona
Australian Shepherd
15 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Incoordination

I have a puppy that almost died from consuming Black Walnut. She was nursed back to life with IV fluids and hand feedings after seeing the vet. She has in coordination. Will she always have this? She walks a little funny and some times she just falls down. But she is otherwise sweet, happy, and playful. It doesn’t seem to bother her.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
Neurological symptoms from the consumption of black walnuts are usually due to a mold which grows on them which can lead to severe symptoms. Recovery can be slow, but is favourable in most cases but varies from case to case. The amount consumed and the presence of mold would have a bearing on overall recovery times. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tuggles
Boxer/ english bulldog
1 yr 4 months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic

My dog has been chewing on black Walnut husks for the past couple of weeks.(throwing them around like a ball and eventually chewing them down). She has been just a little more lethargic than usual. I didn't know that they could be poisonous (until I read this). Should we get her checked out? Is it always poisonous? She is a boxer-English bulldog mix and about a year and a half old.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
The nut and the husk of black walnut can be affected by mold which produces a mycotoxin which can cause neurological symptoms among others. Ideally, stop Tuggles from playing with the black walnuts and it would be best to have your Veterinarian take a look at him in cases of toxins, intestinal obstruction or other issues. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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