Jump to section

What is Plum Poisoning?

Plums are grown on large shrubs or small trees with pretty white flowers similar to apple blossoms. The fruits can be up to six inches around and vary depending on the species, which can range from yellow to black. Each fruit contains one large seed, which contains the toxins, hydrogen cyanide, amygdalin, prunasin, and cyanogen. If the seed (pit or stone) is eaten whole, the acids in the intestinal tract will dissolve it and release the toxins into the bloodstream, spreading them through your dog’s body.

Plums are one of several fruits that contain hydrogen cyanide, which is extremely toxic to dogs if eaten. The highest concentration is in the plum pit, but there is also a substantial enough amount in the foliage and roots to cause gastric irritation and possible respiratory distress if eaten. There are several other toxic substances in the plum, such as amygdalin, prunasin, and cyanogen. These can all cause symptoms similar to cyanide, which slows the oxidative process and destroys blood cells, causing respiratory arrest. If your dog is suffering from plum poisoning, you will likely notice vomiting, tremors, difficulty breathing, and it can be fatal within an hour if not treated right away.

Frontline Gold Flea & Tick Treatment

wagwalking.com

Shop now
advertisement image

Plum Poisoning Average Cost

From 200 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,800

Symptoms of Plum Poisoning in Dogs

All parts of the plum plant contain hydrogen cyanide, including the leaves, stem, roots, and the plum pit. This toxin stops the cell respiration as a non-competitive inhibitor for an enzyme in the mitochondria that is referred to as cytochrome c oxidase, causing asphyxiation in the cells. There is plenty of oxygen in the blood, but the cells do not know how to use it. The end result without treatment is respiratory collapse and death, but the most common symptoms are:

  • Reddened gums, tongue, and mouth
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Dilated pupils
  • Panting heavily
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid breathing
  • Agitation
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Collapse
  • Shock (confusion, dizziness, fainting)
  • Respiratory collapse (inability to breathe)
  • Death (without treatment)

 Types

The scientific name for the plum genus is Prunus from the Rosaceae family, although the most common are Prunus Domestica and Prunus Americana with dozens of cultivars in each. Some of the most common subspecies in the Prunus Domestica species are:

  • Imperial gage
  • Damson
  • Yellow egg
  • Blue rock
  • Maynard
  • Jefferson
  • Lombard
  • Czar
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Plum Poisoning in Dogs

  • Amygdalin is a cyanohydrin which slowly releases cyanide into the bloodstream
  • Cyanogen is one of the fastest and most potent natural toxins known
  • Hydrogen cyanide is released from cyanogenic glycosides when chewed on
  • Prunasin is not well understood, but is a precursor to cyanide
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Plum Poisoning in Dogs

It is essential that you take your pet to see a veterinary professional immediately if you even suspect plum poisoning because death can occur quickly. Do not wait to call your veterinarian to make an appointment; go to the nearest animal clinic or veterinary hospital right away. This is a life-threatening emergency that must be treated without delay. The veterinarian should be able to confirm plum poisoning by looking at your dog’s gums, which will be bright red or pink due to the highly oxygenated blood.

While your pet is being treated for plum poisoning, the veterinarian will do a complete physical examination, check vital signs, weight, reflexes, breath sounds, abdominal palpation, and oxygen level. In addition, any necessary laboratory tests will be done such as a blood urea nitrogen (BUN), complete blood count (CBC), packed cell volume (PCV), urinalysis, and a serum biochemical profile to look for elevated ammonia and amino acids which are classic confirmations of cyanide poisoning.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Plum Poisoning in Dogs

With plum poisoning, the veterinarian will start treatment right away, before any kind of testing can be done. The priority is to get the cyanide and other toxins out of your dog’s system before the liver becomes overloaded and seizures damage the brain.

Detoxification

Either sodium nitrite or methylene blue will be administered through intravenous (IV), which will promote methemoglobin formation in the blood. This will mix with the cyanide and create cyanomethemoglobin, removing the cyanide from the blood. If this does not work right away, the veterinarian may consider thiosulfate, which promotes the formation of rhodanese-catalyzed thiocyanide and rids the body of the cyanide.

Observation

Hospitalization is always necessary for at least 24 hours to monitor your pet and treat any complications. During hospitalization, the veterinary staff will continue to observe your dog, and provide oxygen, fluids, and other necessary care during recovery.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Plum Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog’s prognosis depends on how many plum pits your dog consumed, the timeliness of the therapy, and how well the treatment goes. If you were able to obtain  treatment for your pet right away, chances of recovery are good. Your dog may spend several days in the hospital and will need careful monitoring and plenty of rest when you get home.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Plum Poisoning Average Cost

From 200 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,800

arrow-up-icon

Top

Plum Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

My dog ate a plugot which is a plum and apricot crossed together Im scared because she ate the whole seed

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this platform isn't set up for urgent emails The concern with peach or apricot pits is that they may cause an intestinal blockage. If your dog is vomiting, having diarrhea, is lethargic or not eating, then it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Oct. 10, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Jack Russell Terrier

dog-age-icon

Approx 10 yrs

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Balance, Various Stroke Type Symptoms, Has Had Seizures

He ate a plum seed on Thurs noon time and was eating and drinking yesterday and then he stopped late last night and started symptoms around 4 am with possible stroke or seizures not sure which

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I hope that he is feeling better. If he is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine your pet, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them if needed.

Oct. 17, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua mix

dog-age-icon

Four Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nothing

My dog ate 1 plum seed at 10:20 am but he is act normal until now almost4 pm

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I would be concerned in a small dog about a blockage, and if your dog is having any signs of vomiting or diarrhea, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 20, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Westie

dog-age-icon

Six Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

No Symptoms

my dog just swallowed one very small plum pit, smaller then my finger nail without the whit portion...he is 20 lbs

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is okay. There is a concern for GI upset or an obstruction with that pit. If they are having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

English lab

dog-age-icon

Two Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

9 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Clingy And Sleepy

My dog had a plum seed and a little plum will she be ok

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

9 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Your dad is a fairly good-sized dog, so that plum seed may pass uneventfully. The risk is that it will form a foreign body and it will not pass through intestines. It would be best to watch her for the next day or two for any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite. If she shows any of those signs, she needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 7, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Freddie

dog-breed-icon

Pug

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

My parents were over and made themselves a fruit salad, a plum being included in this fruit salad. While my dad was making it the plum stone fell on the floor and my pug instantly ran over and gobbled it whole. I googled it to see what I needed to do and came across this article. Which has contributed to saving his life. We live very close to our vets and so took him within 15 minutes and they administered a drug to make him sick, and he brought it up. The vet had advised it was likely it would come up if was dealt with within 3 hours and it was lucky he hadn't chewed the stone and that we hadn't left it as it would of started to break down releasing the toxins. We are in the UK and the bill was £140 - for the check over, the injection to make him sick, as well as another injection to stop the sickness. He had no symptons as we had it seen to before any could develop, the vet had told us before the sickness drug was administered that if it didn't work they would have to operate to remove the stone.

Plum Poisoning Average Cost

From 200 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,800

Frontline Gold Flea & Tick Treatment

wagwalking.com

Shop now
advertisement image
How can we help your pet?