What Nuts Are Deadly to Dogs?

by Sarah Dray, Demand Media
    Some snacks can be deadly.

    Some snacks can be deadly.

    Although no nuts are deadly for dogs, per se, some nuts can be poisonous and can cause a variety of side effects. That means if your dog has eaten a few nuts he's most likely not going to suffer dire consequences. Whether nuts can be deadly to Farfo depends on his size, what kind he eats and how many he eats.

    Deadly Consequences

    No single type of nut is truly deadly to dogs. At least not if you feed your doggie just a couple of them here and there. Certain nuts, however, can lead to serious problems in some dogs if you feed them for long periods of time. For example, macadamia nuts can cause bladder stones if you feed them to your doggie regularly. They can also affect the muscular and skeletal systems and lead to hindquarters paralysis in some dogs if fed long-term. While none of these symptoms are deadly, they can lead to deadly consequences if not treated. For example, a dog who can't get up won't be able to defend himself or can get into a serious accident when he tries to drag himself across the floor.

    Intestinal Trouble

    The most common side effect of eating nuts is tummy trouble. If you have a dog who likes to scarf things down, he might end up with an intestinal obstruction from eating unshelled nuts. This is especially true of larger nuts, such as black walnuts or Japanese walnuts. Obstructions can be deadly if left untreated, and emergency surgery is sometimes necessary. Meanwhile, pistachios, fed regularly, can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis, a serious inflammation of the pancreas, can be fatal without emergency treatment and sometimes surgery. Because nuts are high in fats, they can cause upset stomachs and diarrhea.

    Mold Poisoning

    Walnuts are prone to developing a certain type of black mold that can be highly toxic to dogs, according to Dr. Greg Martinez. This is unlikely to happen in good quality walnuts you get at the market, but check for mold if you've been storing walnuts for a long time or if you pick them up from the wild or from your own trees. Signs of black mold poisoning include shaking, vomiting and possibly death if not treated.

    Other Considerations

    Even when not deadly, nuts can bring all kinds of trouble for dogs. For example, English walnuts and pecans can cause seizures and other neurological symptoms. Other symptoms of nut poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, blackened stools, loss of appetite and possibly liver failure, according to Dog Heirs. Keep in mind that the size of your dog has a great impact on how poisonous nuts can be -- a 5-pound dog eating a bunch of nuts is at higher risk than a Great Dane eating the same amount.

    About the Author

    Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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