Lemon and Lime Poisoning Average Cost

From 586 quotes ranging from $200 - 800

Average Cost

$400

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What is Lemon and Lime Poisoning?

The fruits of the lemon and lime trees are well-known additions to food and drink in the human world but can be a danger to our pets. Lemons and limes, like other citrus fruits, contain the essential oils limonene and linalool, as well as a phototoxic compound known as psoralens. Although a small amount is unlikely to pose a serious threat, it can cause gastrointestinal upset. Ingestion of larger quantities of these fruits, or the trees that they grow on, can cause more serious distress.

Both lemon (citrus limon) and lime (citrus aurantifolia) trees produce phototoxic compounds called psoralens as well as linalool and limonene. Although safe for humans, these substances are toxic to canines.

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Symptoms of Lemon and Lime Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of poisoning from citrus fruits like lemons and limes are caused by a combination of the phototoxic compounds known as psoralens and the essential oils limonene and linalool.

  • Cold limbs
  • Collapse
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of coordination
  • Low blood pressure
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Rash or skin irritation
  • Sudden death
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Types 

Both psoralens and linalool are found in other plants as well. However the essential oil limonene is generally restricted to citrus plants. Other plants that produce linalool:

  • Beech trees 
  • Cinnamon
  • Laurels
  • Mint plants
  • Rosewood

Other plants with high concentrations of psoralens:

  • Anise seeds
  • Caraway seeds
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chervil
  • Cilantro
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Dill
  • Fennel seeds
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Lovage
  • Mustard seeds
  • Oranges
  • Parsley
  • Parsnips
  • Root parsley

Causes of Lemon and Lime Poisoning in Dogs

The toxicity of citrus plants lies in the essential oils limonene and linalool, as well as in the phototoxic compound psoralen.

Limonene 

A terpene produced in all citrus fruits which is the main component in the aroma of the different citrus fruits. It is often used in cosmetic products, flavoring compounds, and cleaning products. d-limonene is often employed in fragrances and shampoos for dogs. It is important to note that although the amount of d-limonene in these shampoos is safe for most canines, can be lethal to use on cats. 

Linalool

A terpene that contributes a floral scent to the citrus aroma, linalool is often utilized as an insecticide in soaps and lotions as a fragrance as well as being employed as an insecticide.

Psoralen

A compound found in many plants, including citrus plants like lemons and limes, it is used as a treatment for skin disorders but can also induce phototoxicity.

Diagnosis of Lemon and Lime Poisoning in Dogs

If you catch your pet consuming any type of citrus plant, signs and symptoms combined with the identification of the plant may be sufficient to make an initial diagnosis. Your veterinarian will question you regarding factors that will help to choose the most effective treatment plan, such as the amount of plant material ingested, how long ago it was ingested, and what part of the plant was eaten. If the toxin is unknown because the ingestion was unwitnessed, a urinalysis, blood chemistry profile, and complete blood count will be needed in order to determine which toxin is causing the distress. 

Any skin interaction will be noted, and any vomit or stools will be analyzed for toxins as well. Neurological testing to measure your pet’s reflexes and coordination may also occur during the diagnostic appointment. These evaluations are done in an attempt to pinpoint the specific areas of the nervous system that have been affected.

Treatment of Lemon and Lime Poisoning in Dogs

Any parts of the skin that have been exposed to the oil of the citrus plant should be washed immediately removed using a mild soap and clean water. Limonene and linalool are included in several dog shampoos as a fragrance and therefore, should be avoided when removing citrus oil. It is not advised to induce vomiting as breathing the oil into the lungs can be harmful. Gastric irrigation will be performed on the patient to physically remove as much of the toxin from the digestive system as possible. Activated charcoal will then be administered to prevent any further absorption of the toxic compound into the bloodstream. 

There is no antidote for either the psoralens or the essential oils, so treatment is generally supportive beyond decontamination. This can include IV fluids for dehydration as well as mixtures of electrolytes and sugars to adjust for any imbalances that might develop. If your dog is having difficulty breathing, oxygen will be provided, and antiseizure medications may be administered if tremors become acute.

Recovery of Lemon and Lime Poisoning in Dogs

Prognosis is typically good as the poisoning symptoms only last a few hours, however, ingestion of essential oils including lemons and limes can have a more dire outcome.  Dogs that require gastric lavage and are recovering from anesthesia may have coordination difficulties and confusion until the sedatives have fully cleared the patient’s system. Cases of phototoxicity have developed with citrus poisoning, and your pet should be sheltered from sunlight for around 48 hours after treatment to prevent skin reactions. Your veterinarian will most likely recommend regular monitoring of blood chemistry levels for your pet after any type of poisoning, particularly in relation to liver and kidney functionality or impairment.

Lemon and Lime Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Gunner
Great Pyrenees
5 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My 5mo great pyrenees chewed on a branch of a lime tree. He has had diarrhea and is a bit lethargic but is drinking and trying to play on occasion. Is this something that just needs 5o run its course or should I take him into a vet?

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Charlie
Shmoodle
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Sleepiness
Lethargy

My 3.4 kilo puppy ate half a lime cupcake yesterday (with juice and skin) it was only a mini one but he is only a small dog. He has now been sleeping all day and is usually very active, no vomiting or diorhea. He’s been eating normally and not drinking very much. Just very worried after reading limes are toxic to dogs.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. If Charlie ate a cupcake with lime juice and skin in it, and not an actual lime, and he only ate a small amount, he should be fine, and not suffer toxicity. If he starts to vomit, have diarrhea, or seem unstable or wobbly, he should be seen as soon as possible by your veterinarian. I hope that he is okay!

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EJ
Husky
5 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Vomiting
Loss of Appetite

We gave our husky pup EJ a lemon peel to chew on yesterday. I looked up if it was ok and saw it wasn’t so we took it away from him. He barely chewed on it and had it less than 2 minutes. Today he has thrown up twice and is refusing to eat and barely drinking. He is just laying around which is extremely unusual for him. Should we take him in for an emergency visit?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
The oils in lemon peel can cause gastric irritation which may cause vomiting, loss of appetite among other symptoms; if he didn’t consume any lemon and you took it away from him quickly you should ensure that he is hydrated and offer him some boiled chicken and rice as it is bland and non irritating. Once he can stomach the boiled chicken and rice, wean him over to his normal food; if there is no improvement visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bella
Australian Shepherd
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Rubbing Nose
Sneezing

My Dog Smelt some Lemon Essential Oils and has been sneezing a lot the past 2 days. There has not been any signs that were listed above but has been sneezing a lot. I mixed Lemon essential oils with Vinegar and Water to mop by house. She did get a nice wiff of it. Is there any concerns in this?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Other than irritation to her nasal passages, there should not be any toxicity to that, no. If it irritated her nose, however, you will want to make sure that that gets better and doesn't continue. If it continues, she should be seen by a veterinarian to get medication to help with her nose.

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Luca
Unknown
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Shallow Rapid Breathing
Lethargy

My 1.5 year old husky/pit/shepherd mix ate 1 lb of steak that was marinating in lime juice. We found the bag it was in and he consumed it about 4 hours ago, he seems tired, but that's not too unusual for him. Should I be worried?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Ingestion of lime juice would normally result in gastrointestinal symptoms which may include vomiting or diarrhoea; unless a large quantity was consumed I would just monitor Luca for now and visit your Veterinarian if any symptoms listed on this page present or there is no improvement in his condition. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kato
Shiba Inu
4 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

My 7 pound 3 month old shiba inu puppy just now licked the wrapper on the top of a cup of chobani key lime pie yogurt for around 3 seconds. Probably consumed around 1/4 of a teaspoon maybe 1/2 at most. Should I be worried?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
There are a few ingredients which may be concerning here, however the quantity in the yogurt shouldn’t be enough to cause a poisoning event based on the small amount licked off a lid. Keep an eye on Kato for the time being and visit your Veterinarian if any symptoms present. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.chobani.com/products/snacks/flip-classic/key-lime-crumble/

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Piper
Border Collie
3 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

No symptoms yet

I dropped a couple small pieces of lime Tostitos chips on the ground and my dogs got to them before I did. Should I be concerned about what they ingested? No symptoms yet as it’s onlt been a couple hours.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
That small amount of lime should not cause any toxic signs for your dogs. It would be a good idea to monitor them both for any vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance or lethargy, and have them seem right away if any of those signs occur. I suspect that they will be fine, however.

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Violet
Labrador Retriever
18 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

My 18 wk old lab puppy ate a small branch of my Meyer's lemon tree. She just got sick on the carpet and seems a little more lethargic than usual. Her temperature seems normal at 101. Should I monitor this for the next 24 hours or get her to a vet? Many thanks!

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Elsie
Brittany (Spaniel)
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Tired

My dog ate about a cup of sugar mixed with 10 drops of lemon essential oil yesterday, and some coconut oil is that safe? She doesn’t really seem sick, but maybe a little tired

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Citrus oils in small amounts can be quite toxic to dogs if they are eaten. Since you know that Elsie did eat the oil, it would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian and have some lab work checked to make sure that her liver enzymes are normal. They may want to provide supportive care for her to make sure that she is okay. I hope that all goes well for her.

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Jay
Yorkipoo
5 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Warm to touch

What to do if your do has swallowed a average slice of lime, including skin. Also how should I do if he starts to gain a rash?

*he swallowed the lime about 4 to 5 hours ago*
He his more warm then normal and his private part area looks reddish but over all he seems to acting normal.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

There is no real treatment for lime ingestion, treatment is purely supportive; if a large quantity is ingested your Veterinarian may irrigate the stomach, otherwise it is a case of riding it out. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and dermatitis; it may be worth visiting your Veterinarian if Jay is in discomfort or for him to receive supportive care. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Gordo
Jack Russell Terrier
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Hi my dog has been vomiting since yesterday and is very lethargic . He likes to bite the bark of trees if he sees small animals in the garden. He does ot to the bark of our lemon tree and I am worried that he got poisoning from that

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Gordo may have experienced a toxicity to the tree, or he may have something else going on that needs attention. If he is still vomiting and lethargic, he should see a veterinarian as soon as possible, as they will be able to examine him, determine what might be gong on, and get him treatment. It would be best to mention the tree, whether that is the cause or not.

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Puddles
Maltipoo
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

No symptoms yet

My 12 pound maltipoo just ate a chunk of lemon with the peel about the size of a quarter about 15 minutes ago. Should I take her to the vet and get her stomach pumped or something? I'm afraid she won't be able to digest it and might cause an obstruction in her GI tract.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. That large a piece of lemon may cause problems, even though technically it is digestible. It might be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian - I'm not sure how long it has been since she ate it, but they may be able to remove it from her stomach. I hope that she is okay.

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Chevy
Chihuahua
10 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

no symptoms

No symptoms ..but give my Chihuahus two smallpoonfuls of organic lemon juice in their bowl of water everyday for pH of urine do toCystinuria kidney stone disease. A DBL genetic mutation where the kidneys don't filter amino acids. A alkaline urine helps cut the stone formation. I too suffer from this disease. I use lon and lime juice for my pH..8.0 for me. I don't see any symptoms in my can es at all from drinking some of this everyday. Two are brothers w/ this insidious disease.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
That small amount of lemon juice may not be causing any signs of toxicity for your dogs, and you can certainly choose to continue with that, but since lemons are known to be toxic to dogs generally and they are getting small amounts every day, it may be better to consider other alternatives to create an alkaline urine. There are medications that your veterinarian can discuss with you if you decide to alter your plan.

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Storm
French Bulldog
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

My dog ate a lime slice. She swallowed it whole. Then ate a bowl of her food. She is acting normal. How long should I monitor her to see if there is any change in her?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
I wouldn’t worry about a single slice of lime especially if Storm ate a bowl of food immediately afterwards. Keep an eye on her, but she should be fine. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Luke
German Shepherd/rottweiler
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

whimpering
Vomitting

My dog ate a small slice of lime last night, over 24 hours ago, and now he is throwing up. Im not sure if it is from the lime or if I should take him to the vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Small quantities of lime may cause some gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhoea, but these symptoms normally occur soon after ingestion not 24 hours later; vomiting may be caused by a variety of problems, keep an eye on him but if there isn’t any improvement by morning you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination before the weekend. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Eleanor Roosevelt
Chihuahua
8 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Toxicity

I have an essential oil diffuser. Lemon and orange essential oils are in many of the diffuser blends. If I diffuse them diluted in my home, will that potentially cause toxicity to my 6 pound chihuahua and 15 pound rat terrier? Do I need to avoid them all together?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
I generally recommend against the use of diffusers in the home unless they are specifically indicated as being safe for use around pets; there are many different companies offering different products so I cannot say they are all safe without knowing, it would be best to call or email the manufacturer for an assurance from them. The worse things I’ve come across is when a dog will chew on the diffuser when it is plugged in. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jax
French Bulldog
3 Days
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Can lemon trees/bushes cause issues for dogs without ingestion? We just bought a lemon tree to keep indoors and I'm concerned there is potential for an issue from the aroma of the oils/blossoms of the plant because of what I'm reading. Can this be a concern or is it only a problem if ingested?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Lemons can cause GI signs in dogs if eaten. I'm not aware of side effects from smelling the plant, but if you notice any decrease in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea with Jax, it may be a good idea to remove the plant and see your veterinarian. Make sure it is located in a spot where he cannot actually eat any of it.

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Athena
pitbull
4 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Urination Pain
Urinating In House

My dog drank a little of the lime juice that comes in the little lime bottles about 30 min ago, as of now she isn't showing any symptoms, should I call a vet or will she be ok?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Small amounts of lime or lemon juice concentrate may cause some gastrointestinal symptoms which may include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain etc… If consumed in larger quantities the symptoms would be more severe; keep a close eye on Athena for the time being and if she present with symptoms which do not subside or you notice worrying symptoms as listed on this page visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Peep
Shepherd mix
4 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

none

Hi, my dog got into a cabinet and ingested about less than a teaspoon (the bottle felt about the same weight and there wasn't any spilled juice, but I could smell it on him when he put his face near mine and he had it in his mouth) this happened about an hour ago, and hes not showing any symptoms hes a big puppy... He's just laying down which isnt unusual for him at this hour. Should I be worried?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I assume you mean that Peep ingested lemon juice? If he ate a small amount, or none, he may not show any signs. If he is showing any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it would be best to have him examined by your veterinarian to make sure that he is okay.

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Henry
Shetland Sheepdog
6 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Hard swallowing
Regurgitation

Hi there, my just-under-20 lbs sheltie ate 1/2 of a small, unripe Meyer lemon around 5 hours ago. For how long should I be worried about complications, i.e., foreign body or toxicity?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
The signs of lemon toxicity should be evident within a few hours, and if Henry is not appearing weak or unstable, he may be fine for that aspect. If he swallowed the 1/2 lemon in one piece, there is a very real possibility for a foreign body, and you can see those signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite or belly pain over the next 1-5 days. If he has any of those signs, he should see a veterinarian right away. You should also keep him out of the sun for the next 48 hours, as he may be more sensitive to sunlight.

My 7 month old american pitbull terrier swallowed half a line what do.i do help ????

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