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Macadamia Nut poisoning in dogs| Roger Meadows| VET 123 Mrs. Owens | | Macadamia nuts come from the Macadamia tree grown in the United States, mostly found in Hawaii. They are popular ingredients found in cookies and candies or on a table during a party. Every year, calls are made to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center about dogs eating different amounts of macadamia nuts.
The findings from these fairly rare calls have close to the same outcomes and are remarkably consistent (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002).
Macadamia nut toxicosis can last up to 48 hours and have symptoms that are very uncomfortable, though it is unlikely to be fatal in dogs. Dogs that have ingested macadamia nuts may look to be in pain, have weakness in the back legs, might acquire a low grade fever and tremors may start.
This should all get better over a 48 hour period, but dogs experiencing more than mild symptoms should see a veterinarian, and care may include intravenous fluid therapy and pain control (ASPCA, n. d. ). 48 calls about dogs eating macadamia nuts came into the ASPCA APPC between 1987 to 2001.
Weakness, depression, vomiting, ataxia, tremors, and hyperthermia are the clinical signs that were most reported. In 94% of the cases in which dogs had consumed macadamia nuts from the periods of 1998 to 2001, reports show at least one of these signs.
Wide ranges of dosage were reported over the time period. Based on ASPCA APCC data, weakness was reported after dogs ingested as little as 2. 4 to as much as 62. 4 g/kg. Vomiting was reported to occur after the ingestion of 7 to 62. 4 g/kg. The mean amount of macadamia nuts ingested was estimated to be 11. 7 g/kg (range 2. 2 to 62. 4 g/kg).
The reported time from ingestion of nuts to development of clinical signs was less than 12 hours in 79% of the cases. These clinical signs of toxicosis were reproduced in the laboratory after administering 20 g/kg (about 2 tsp. /lb. ) of commercially prepared roasted macadamia nuts to four healthy dogs via a stomach tube. (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002) The dogs developed marked weakness with the inability to stand on their rear legs by 12 hours after dosing. Extensive blood tests were performed, but only serum lipase activities were elevated. All dogs appeared normal within 48 hours.
Tremors were not noted in the perimentally exposed dogs. The reports of tremors in the field cases were probably related to muscle weakness (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002). “In a search of the human medical literature revealed reports of anaphylactic reactions to macadamia nuts similar to other nut IgE-mediated hypersensitivities” (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002). In this medical collected works, no symptoms similar to what happens in dogs are found in human reports. There has been found in the macadamia nut kernel a protein that reveals antimicrobial, but the importance of this research is unknown.
Why dogs show signs of toxicosis when they eat macadamia nuts it not really know. Why dogs are getting sick may be specific to the dog or involve the ingredients of the nuts themselves. Toxins from processing, mycotoxins or other unidentified causes may also be at fault (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002). Macadamia nut toxicosis is based on a history of known exposure and consistent clinical signs for a diagnosis. Macadamia nut identification in vomit or stool, empty containers that have been chewed up, or if the dog was seen eating the nuts are all part of the history of exposure.
Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts also may result in methyl xanthine toxicosis and should be treated accordingly if thought to have been eaten. If a dog shows signs of back leg weakness and no nervous system involvement or musculoskeletal pain or and signs of wounds then macadamia nut poisoning should be considered (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002). Make your dog vomit as soon as possible and then call your vet immediately if you think your dog has eaten macadamia nuts with in the last hour.
By having your dog vomit you can reduce the amount of nuts digested by the dog, so if you could not get your dog to vomit then the veterinarian will do it for you. Activated charcoal coats the lining of the digestive system and that will reduce the amount of nuts digested so your veterinarian may give this also. Until the toxin passes out of your dog’s system he will be treated as each new symptom appears. Hyperthermia is treated by cooling the body’s core temperature. Cool wet towels can be used to cover the body and even intravenous fluids will work. Never use an ice bath, because this could cause the problem to get much worse. If the dog’s body temperature has been significantly elevated for a long period of time, the dog’s clotting mechanisms can be severely compromised. In this case, the dog would need possible plasma transfusions and heparin therapy” (Macadamia Nut Poisoning in the Dog, 2011). Medications can help to stop the trembling if severe muscle tremors start. A fast or racing heart rate can be treated with medication if need be. These medications will be stopped after the dog begins to return to normal (Macadamia Nut Poisoning in the Dog, 2011). In most cases, the dog can return home in around 48 hours as the signs are mostly gone by then.
The prognosis for complete recovery with no evidence of complications is very good for most dogs with the common signs. Dogs regularly return to normal within 24 to 48 hours according to the ASPCA APCC’s experience, with only observation at home. Every case managed by the ASPCA APCC has resulted in complete recovery to date (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002). Macadamia nut ingestion in two pet dogs; Case 1 “In December 2000, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) received a call involving a 1. 5-year old, castrated, 14. 1-lb (6. 4-kg) bichon frise that reportedly ingested 4 oz. f macadamia nuts (17. 7 g/kg) late in the day. The owner reported that seven and a half hours after ingestion, the dog vomited a large quantity of macadamia nuts and could not stand or walk without support. The ASPCA APCC veterinarian advised the owner, based on the clear evidence of macadamia nut exposure and the consistency of the clinical signs with known field and research cases, that recovery without treatment was expected within 12 to 36 hours. The dog remained at home under observation. When contacted by phone three days after exposure, the owner reported that the dog’s clinical signs had subsided.
The owner did not recall exactly when the dog had returned to normal” (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002). Case 2 “In July 2001, the ASPCA APCC received a call involving a 9-year-old, castrated, 26. 8-lb (12. 2-kg) cocker spaniel that reportedly consumed 5. 3 oz. of macadamia nuts (12. 3 g/kg) one hour earlier. The dog was reported to be moderately ataxic with muscle tremors and mild dyspnea. In this case, the attending veterinarian administered an enema and provided pain relief combined with other symptomatic and supportive care before contacting the ASPCA APCC. No additional treatment procedures were recommended.
Within nine and a half hours, the clinical signs resolved, and the dog fully recovered” (Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs, 2002). Referemces Macadamia nut poisoning in the dog. (2011). Vet blog. Retrieved on August12, 2011 from http://vetblog. co. uk/vetblog/macadamia-nut-poisoning-in-the-dog Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs. (2002). aspcapro. Retrieved onAugust15, 2011 from www. aspcapro. org/mydocuments/x-toxbrief_0402. pdf ASPCA. (n. d. ). Virtual pet behaviorist. Retrieved on August 16, 2011 from http://www. aspcabehavior. org/articles/71/Foods-That-Are-Hazardous-to-Dogs-. aspx