Dog owners are being cautioned to keep their pets away from conkers which are highly poisonous if chewed and eaten. If swallowed whole by dogs, they may also cause serious blockages.
Although severe poisoning is rare, here's what you need to know to keep your dog safe this Autumn.
Why are conkers poisonous?
Conkers contain gallotannins, which is a mixture of harmful acids.
Most larger dogs need to ingest several to suffer severe poisoning, but smaller breeds are at risk from just one or two and the conker could even cause an obstruction in the intestine.
Signs of problems developing as a result of eating conkers normally display within 6 hours and include vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation, abdominal pain, excessive drinking and not eating.
Conkers danger for dogs: A Lucky escape
Lucky, a Springer Spaniel from South London was playing with a group of youngsters and they had no idea that encouraging Lucky to play with, chew and catch conkers could be so dangerous. He was rushed to The Blue Cross for treatment.
Alison Thomas, senior vet at the Victoria animal hospital treated him and said: “Lucky suffered a terrible ordeal and his game of conker catch could have even been fatal. Many dog owners are totally unaware that conkers are highly toxic to their pets and they must prevent dogs from eating or playing with them.”
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If you think your dog may have eaten, or been in contact with conkers, it is vital to contact your vet as soon as possible.