What is Peach Tree Poisoning?
The peach tree is a popular staple in many areas and produces a fruit many people enjoy. While it is a great tree to have for many reasons, it is toxic to your dog. Every part of the tree is toxic if he ingests any amount. The toxicity becomes more potent when the tree begins to wilt, leading to accidental ingestion off the ground. If you believe your dog ingested a part of this tree, contact your veterinarian. Symptoms can range from mild (such as dilated pupils and panting), to severe (brick red mucous membranes and shock). Most dogs do well with supportive care, but if you do not get him any veterinary attention at all, he may not survive.
While having fruit trees on your property is fun and productive, if it is a peach tree, it can actually be dangerous for your dog. If your dog ingests any part of a peach tree or its fruit, contact your veterinarian immediately.
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Symptoms of Peach Tree Poisoning in Dogs
Dogs that ingest the toxic part of a peach tree may develop the following symptoms of toxicity:
- Dilated pupils
- Respiratory distress
- Mucous membranes brick red in color
In the horticulture world, the peach tree is in the same family as the plum, apricot, and cherry tree. The peach tree belongs to the Rosaceae family and the Prunus genus. The species of plant can vary depending on the exact plant you are referring to.
Causes of Peach Tree Poisoning in Dogs
Some species of peach tree contain cyanogenic glycosides. Cyanide is a rapidly acting toxin that inhibits the oxidative process of cells causing them to die. Many plants have these properties, but complications typically arise when there is overexposure. The stems, leaves, and seeds of the peach tree all contain the toxin. When the tree is wilting, its cyanide toxicity levels are even higher.
Diagnosis of Peach Tree Poisoning in Dogs
Toxicity from ingesting a part of the peach tree can be difficult to diagnose since the symptoms listed are caused by many things. The veterinarian will basically have to come to a diagnosis from ruling out other possible causes. She will collect a history from you while she examines your dog. Tell her everything your dog may have come into contact with before his symptoms began. While the smallest detail may not seem important to you, it may be the clue the veterinarian needs.
Lab work will be run to collect information on how your dog is functioning internally. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will be run to give a baseline of how your dog’s organs are handling the toxin. These tests give a broad, overall look and will let the veterinarian know if further diagnostics need to be completed or not. She may also want to run a urinalysis for evaluation of kidney function. If dehydration is a concern, a packed cell volume (PCV) will be run to determine hydration status.
Treatment of Peach Tree Poisoning in Dogs
The symptoms your dog is experiencing will determine his course of treatment. If you know your dog ingested part of the peach tree or highly suspect it, the veterinarian may induce vomiting. This will empty your dog’s stomach of any remaining pieces before the body absorbs it. If too much time has passed since ingestion and induction of vomiting is unsuccessful, she may administer activated charcoal. This will bind and neutralize the toxins of the peach tree before the body absorbs it. If your dog is vomiting from ingestion of the tree, an antiemetic will be given to stop the constant vomiting and to offer your dog some relief.
Other forms of treatment will be supportive. Unfortunately, there is no exact antidote the veterinarian can give your dog. She will offer all the care and support she can as the toxin leaves his system.
Recovery of Peach Tree Poisoning in Dogs
Detoxification is imperative as therapy for peach tree poisoning. As soon as you suspect your pet ingested any part of the peach tree, take him to a veterinarian. If he receives medical attention in a timely manner, prognosis of a full recovery is good. If he ingested a large amount or if he does not receive medical care, his prognosis declines.
The best thing you can do for your dog is to keep this tree and its fruit out of his reach. If you have a peach tree on your property, keep it in an area your dog does not have access to or consider fencing it off so that he cannot get to it; including the fruit that falls from the tree naturally.