‘From little acorns, mighty vets bills will grow’…….
I know of several dogs who just love to chase around with an acorn, dropping it, picking it up, repeat again, and again, and again…..
Whilst this behavior is, in the main, quite safe. After all, nature has just provided a whole new natural toy box. Remember there are inherent dangers if our furry friends start to explore the acorn that bit further.
Acorns contain ‘tannins’ which are potentially quite serious if a dog ingests them.
Exposure to acorns
In the autumn/winter months is obviously common. If ingested, however, the Tannic Acid (‘tannins’) can cause damage to both the liver and kidneys. I should also mention a possible intestinal blockage – the very least that can happen here is – VETS BILLS, and one very unhappy, poorly dog.
Signs that your best friend may have eaten something from the squirrel’s larder could include – vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and general lethargy.
The large and giant breeds can probably accommodate eating the odd acorn now and then, but it’s certainly not to be recommended. The small and toy breeds are the ones who will suffer the most, even by consuming just one acorn.
What Do I Do If I Am Worried?
If you do see this happen or believe your dog is showing some of the above signs (especially if you know the dog’s environment contains acorns), then you must provide as much freshwater as possible and contact your vet immediately for specialist advice.
Obviously, the sensible advice would be to not allow your dog access to an environment with acorns. But many favourite walks have these potentially interesting, alternative and tasty (at the time) autumn treats. Subsequently, that can be far easier said than done, due to many of us walking our dogs off lead in woodland. You may even have oak trees in our own garden.
As with so many aspects of our relationship with our canine best mates, we come back to the same old basics of – control, monitoring, observation, and awareness.
I wonder if a squirrel gets a stomach upset if it eats dog food……????
Author: John Palmer-Snellin, Director