At this time of year, veterinary poison control centers receive many calls regarding the ingestion of mushrooms by our animals. As with humans, beware of wild mushrooms that can be found during walks in the forest. Dogs may want to chew or play with these funny hats that intrigue them. So beware of poisonous mushrooms, of course, but also of edible mushrooms… Indeed, some mushrooms that humans can eat are dangerous for animals: this is the case, for example, of oyster mushrooms or morels.
2- Chestnuts and chestnuts
Chestnuts and chestnuts strongly resemble… a small ball. What fun like crazy for a dog! Unfortunately, in addition to causing intestinal obstruction if swallowed, chestnuts (as well as the leaves and buds of the horse chestnut tree) contain toxic substances. “ The toxic dose is not well known, especially since the content of toxic principles varies according to the season. The clinical signs appear within six hours of ingestion and are of a digestive nature: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain ” warns the Nantes veterinary poison control center (CAPAE Ouest).
Has your dog unearthed a few acorns that he hastens to swallow? If the ingestion of acorns is mainly toxic for cattle and horses, it is also toxic for dogs. Indeed, these fruits can cause poisoning, especially if the acorns are green. The dogs will present a “ certain dejection, vomiting, constipation then diarrhea ” details the poison control center of Nantes.
4- Pine cones
A pine cone is fun, it rolls and crunches under your teeth! But the other side of the coin is that its scales can damage your pet's digestive tract or even cause intestinal obstruction if it tries to swallow it whole!
Nuts and other nuts that are often found on the ground in autumn are not necessarily friends of the dog! Almonds, pecans, pistachios will cause stomach aches. Nuts, especially their bugs, contain a toxin that causes seizures. Be especially wary of macadamia nuts (Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla) which cause dogs to experience weakness, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and pale mucous membranes. According to a 2016 study by two Italian researchers, if fortunately no dog died after ingesting Macadamia nuts, care is nevertheless necessary for 24 to 48 hours.
Also note that beechnuts (fruits of the beech tree, almond-shaped) consumed in large quantities are toxic to dogs because they are composed of tannins and trimethylamine. On the other hand, many wild animals feast on it!
6- Trees of the season: chestnut, yew, holly…
On walks, many dogs find sticks everywhere! While it is of course necessary to ensure that it does not swallow too much wood (to avoid intestinal obstruction), it is also necessary to identify what type of tree it comes from. The leaves and buds of the chestnut tree (horse chestnut) are toxic (see also paragraph on chestnuts). The same goes for the yew, whose twigs and fruits are poisonous to herbivores, birds, dogs and rabbits, and the holly, whose " leaves and berries are poisonous to all species " although ' Because of the pungent nature of the leaves, it is the berries that are most often involved in cases of poisoning ,' notes the Nantes poison control centre.
Another danger – this one not natural – also calls for the most extreme attention at this time: hunters… who can also make your trip hell. Because if hunting is, by definition, a mortal danger for wild animals, it is also for our pets. The multiplication of hunting accidents bears witness to this: from dogs to cats killed or injured by shotgun pellets, to horses killed by hunting bullets… there are plenty of examples. Also, to avoid any accident, wear fluorescent clothes and also attach a fluorescent accessory to your dog. Pay attention to the signs delimiting the hunting areas and stay well on the trails.
In summary, it is important to remain vigilant so that the walk with your animal remains a shared moment of relaxation and does not end in an emergency at the veterinarian.