Hickory Nut Poisoning in Dogs


What is Hickory Nut Poisoning?

Appropriately processed hickory nuts are not straight poisonous to your pet dog however the canine system does not properly absorb the proteins in nuts. Consumed in big adequate amounts hickory nuts can trigger intestinal distress, weight problems, and pancreatitis. This can take place in dogs either if the nuts are consumed all at once or in little, regular quantities. The shells of hickory nuts likewise consist of the chemical juglone which can be slightly poisonous to dogs too. In addition to the threats presented by the nuts themselves, hickory nuts might likewise harbor specific penicillium and claviceps type molds. Dogs are especially vulnerable to the tremorgenic mycotoxins produced by this mold and direct exposure can have severe repercussions for your family pet.

Although hickory nuts are not extremely dangerous to dogs they are not suggested. The canine system is not created to process nuts and they trigger intestinal distress, weight problems, and pancreatitis.

Signs of Hickory Nut Poisoning in Dogs

Indications your pet dog just recently overindulged

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Greasy appearing stools
  • Throwing Up

Indications of pancreatitis

  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Absence of cravings
  • Sleepiness
  • Orange urine
  • Extreme stomach discomfort
  • Inflamed abdominal area
  • Throwing Up
  • Weak Point
  • Weight-loss

Indications of tremorgenic mycotoxicosis 

  • Stomach discomfort
  • Dilated students
  • Raised heart rate
  • Extreme drooling
  • Fever
  • Tremblings
  • Unchecked flickering eye motion 
  • Throwing Up


Although nuts such as hickory nuts are a typical vector for the molds that produce tremorgenic mycotoxins they are not the only way for your dog to be exposed to the contaminants that they produce. These contaminants can be produced on several kinds of molding food consisting of bread, cheese, and rice. Another typical source for your dog to consume these harmful molds is to rob your trash and consume musty food from there. Hickory trees and other trees in the exact same household such as black walnuts might drop musty nuts to the ground where your family pet might access.

Reasons For Hickory Nut Poisoning in Dogs

Although appropriately prepared hickory nuts aren’t normally dangerous in and of themselves they do provide a variety of secondary threats. These threats can consist of: 


Hickory nuts that human beings get to treat on on their own frequently have salt and other flavorings contributed to them. Excessive salt can increase water retention in dogs and the opportunity of injury to the kidneys. This can be especially harmful for dogs with heart disease.


Juglone is a chemical that is poisonous to dogs. It is produced by the hickory tree and is discovered in the shells of hickory nuts in addition to the wood and leaves of the tree. 

Tremorgenic mycotoxins

Tremorgenic mycotoxins result in tremorgenic mycotoxicosis. Dogs responding to this kind of toxicity will require hospitalization to handle the signs. 

High phosphorus material

The high phosphorus material in most nuts can increase the possibility of forming bladder stones. 


Dogs do not constantly chew their food as efficiently as human beings and this might result in a choking risk due to the solidity of the nut accompanied its shapes and size.


Nuts are rather high in fat which is a main factor to establishing Pancreatitis, an agonizing and devastating condition that can significantly reduce your dog’s life.

Medical Diagnosis of Hickory Nut Poisoning in Dogs

Signs displayed with this condition will trigger your vet to get a history of the client, taking specific note of what foods your family pet had access to just recently. Normally, a basic physical exam will be finished and a chemistry profile and total blood count will be evaluated too. Urine, stools, and vomitus will likewise be checked and might expose hidden illness or contaminants such as tremorgenic mycotoxins or contaminants associated with organophosphate toxicity. These contaminants can likewise be recognized utilizing mass spectrometry methods.  

Additional screening will depend upon the indications that exist. If your pet dog is revealing indications of damage to the esophagus or dehydration an x-ray or ultrasound of the throat and chest location might be suggested to look for tearing of the esophagus or enhancement of the heart. Ultrasounds might be utilized to image the stomach location as they frequently expose enhancement of the pancreas or fluid build-up in this location.

Treatment of Hickory Nut Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment will depend upon how the hickory nuts have actually impacted your family pet. Helpful treatment will be offered for any immediate issues. This might consist of IV fluids for dehydration and medications might be recommended to reduce specific signs. These medications might be offered either intravenously or by an intramuscular injection and might consist of any mix of prescription antibiotics, anti-nausea, or discomfort management medications. 

Dogs who have actually contracted tremorgenic mycotoxins will normally be kept at the health center with IV fluids and muscle relaxants to reduce signs till the illness can run its course. Triggered charcoal might likewise be administered to restrict the absorption of the toxic substance. Most dogs that are impacted will recuperate within 24-48 hours however this can be extended depending upon the quantity of the toxic substance consumed and the length of time in between intake and treatment. 

In case your family pet is throwing up progressively or exceedingly your vet might advise a duration of withholding food by mouth, often for numerous days. These signs are frequently an indication of pancreatitis. The intent behind this treatment is to enable the pancreas to recover enough for the swelling to decrease. If the pet dog wants and able to consume by itself, numerous low-protein, low-fat, high-fiber meals daily are normally recommended to speed recovery. Supplements of pancreatic enzymes can be offered to alleviate stomach discomfort, however it typically does not change the course of the illness itself.

Healing of Hickory Nut Poisoning in Dogs

Keeping the recovering client in a calm and peaceful environment and making certain that she or he finishes the complete step of their medications will assist speed healing. Medications such as prescription antibiotics, stomach protectants, and antacids might be recommended to fight the signs. Although most dogs with tremorgenic mycotoxicosis are well within 24-48 hours there are some cases of ataxia that can continue for numerous years. Dogs with pancreatitis will most frequently be put on a diet plan limited to low-fat, high-fiber foods for the rest of their lives. Pancreatic enzyme supplements, while not likely to alter the total course of the illness, might offer some remedy for the extreme stomach discomfort.

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