My Dog Ate 20 Cherry Pits – What Should I Do Now?

I. Introduction

Many dog owners treasure sharing sweet moments with their furry friends, which sometimes includes sharing food from the table. Even then, it’s crucial to remember not all human foods are safe for dogs. For instance, while the flesh of cherries can be a sweet treat for dogs, the cherry pits pose a significant risk. As a dog owner, you might have found yourself in a panic if your dog got into a bowl of cherries on the table.

Cherry Pits and their Toxicity in Dogs

Cherry pits contain a cyanide compound which is highly toxic to dogs when ingested. According to Wikipedia, cyanide is a potent poison that interferes with cellular processes in the body. More specifically, it interferes with the body’s ability to use oxygen, leading to cell death. This means when your dog eats enough cherry pits, it may experience cyanide poisoning.

Dog owners should never ignore if their pet chomps down multiple cherry pits. Some warning signs of cyanide poisoning include:

  • Labored breathing
  • Bright red gums
  • Dilated pupils

Potential Risks and Dangers

Obstruction: Apart from the toxic cyanide, cherry pits pose another danger due to their hard, firm nature. They can cause intestinal obstruction, especially in small dogs and puppies, leading to severe pain and potential surgical intervention.

Poisoning: A dog that has ingested multiple cherry pits may collapse and die within minutes to hours. The severity of the cyanide poisoning symptoms largely depends on the dog’s size, the number of pits consumed, and the dog’s overall health condition.

Remember, prevention is the best cure. Keeping cherries and other dangerous foods out of your dog’s reach is the best way to ensure their safety. If you suspect your dog has eaten cherry pits, it’s essential to rush them to the vet immediately. 

cherry pits and dog

II. Signs and Symptoms of Cherry Pit Ingestion

When a dog ingests cherry pits, its health can be seriously compromised. Cherry pits contain a substance called cyanide, which is highly toxic and can induce cyanide poisoning in your furry friend.

Behavioral Changes in Dogs

Behavioral changes provide strong clues about a possible poisoning scenario. Dogs that have eaten cherry pits may show signs of distress that include tremors, hyperventilation, and convulsions. These indications can manifest within minutes to hours after ingestion. If troubled behavior is noted after your pet has consumed cherries, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Digestive Issues and Blockage

Cherry pits can also cause digestive issues and blockages, besides releasing toxic cyanide. This could lead to severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and constipation. If your pet is showing these signs, it is highly recommended that you call a veterinary professional for advice on what steps to take next.

Please note, deaths from cherry pit ingestion aren’t only due to the cyanide. The rigid structure of the pits can also lead to gastrointestinal obstruction which can be lethal as well.

Just remember, when dealing with potential pet poisoning, the best course of action is always to seek immediate professional help.

III. Immediate Steps to Take

If your dog has ingested a significant amount of cherry pits, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Here are some of the next steps you should take in such situations.

when dog eat cherry pits what to do

Contacting a Veterinarian

Always call a veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) when you suspect your dog has ingested cherry pits. They can instruct you on the correct action to take, assess your pet’s condition, and provide you with professional advice in cases of potential cyanide poisoning.

Inducing Vomiting at Home

While waiting to contact a professional, you may need to induce vomiting to eliminate the dangerous substances. This, however, should only be done on guidance from an animal healthcare professional, as improper use can cause more harm than good.

Using Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal can also be used to help prevent the absorption of toxins into the body. This remedy has the ability to bind cyanide, preventing it from harming your dog. However, always consult your vet or a pet poison expert before administering home treatments.

These steps are integral for managing such situations, ensuring the health and safety of your pet remains paramount.

IV. Tips for Monitoring your Dog

Keeping a close eye on your pet after they have ingested cherry pits is crucial. After all, while the fruit of the cherry is harmless, the pits contain cyanide, a toxic compound that can pose a risk if consumed in large quantities such as 20 cherry pits.

Watching for Potential Complications

After your dog has eaten cherry pits, monitor them closely for any changes in behaviour or physical symptoms. If they exhibit symptoms like difficulty breathing, dilated pupils or unusually bright red gums, it’s time to act promptly. These symptoms could indicate the onset of cyanide poisoning, which needs immediate veterinary attention.

Note: Cyanide inhibits the body’s ability to use oxygen, causing a form of asphyxiation.

Signs of Cyanide Poisoning

Cyanide poisoning might progress quickly, after ingestion. Here are a few signs to watch out for:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Laboured breathing
  • Bright red gums
  • Dilated pupils

If your furry friend appears unsteady, disoriented, or struggles to breathe, seek immediate veterinary care. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Always ensure that your pet does not have access to harmful substances, such as cherry pits or seeds from other fruits.

Refer more about the signs and potential dangers of Cyanide poisoning in dogs from this Wikipedia link

V. Recovery and Aftercare

Once treated for cherry poisoning, an essential part of the process involves ensuring the recovery and aftercare of your pet is handled correctly. There are several steps every pet owner should follow once their dog has ingested cherry pits and has been treated.

Treatment Options and Procedures

Inducing Vomiting: If your dog has consumed a significant number of cherry pits in the last two hours, a veterinarian may induce vomiting as a form of treatment. This is to ensure no intestinal blockage would occur due to large cherry pit consumption.

Administration of Antidotes: Cyanide poisoning from cherry pits can be treated with various antidotes such as Sodium Thiosulfate or Sodium Nitrate. According to  veterinary professionals, these can halt cyanide production in the dog and help cells in converting the cyanide into a simpler form that can be excreted through urine.

Monitoring: Active monitoring post-treatment is a must. If your dog exhibits symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, professional help should be sought instantly.

Please remember that close observation and immediate action can make a significant difference in your pet’s health. Keep your canines away from cherry trees, and ensure that they don’t have access to fallen cherry pits. 

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