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Dog sick after eating apricots.

Species: Dog
Breed: Australian Shepherd
Age: 1-2 years
Yesterday I found Poppy and my other Aussie eating apricots from the neighbors overhanging tree. The other Aussie is fine and was not affected by this escapade.

It appeared Poppy was not eating/breaking the pits, there were a minimum of 50 pits in the area. Around dinner time she was not interested in eating her dinner or playing. I thought she had a belly ache. She was drinking water, but then vomited and had apricot color diarrhea. By this morning she was laying by the water bowl, but not drinking water. She decided to drink, but vomited everything she drank. Her gums were light pink to white and her energy was flat...no energy, lethargic.

I took her the VET ED and the Vet Tech saw blood on the thermometer when she took her temp which was 99.?. The ED started IV fluids, Flagyl and nausea medication.

The Vet called relaying her PCV was 35 and her renal function was compromised. I do not have her renal values. The Vet thought she may have gotten into antifreeze.

This is not possible, she was home all day and only in the backyard and house. No antifreeze available. Nothing different in her daily routine other than the apricot feast.

My questions:
Could this be cyanide poisoning?

What are the signs and symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs?

Does cyanide affect renal function in dogs?

What questions should I ask the ER VET?

Is there a possibility that this could be Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia? I lost an Aussie 2 yrs ago to this disease and her symptoms are very similar.

Thank you!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Wow. I'm so sorry to hear that this happened. I'm going to have to spend a few minutes researching about cyanide for you, ok?

You'll get an email in a few minutes once I have some answers for you.

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK, so cyanide poisoning definitely doesn't cause renal failure. It will affect the body's cells so that they can't process oxygen properly. Then, the symptoms are coma and death.

However, the apricots may still be the culprit. If your vet is suspecting antifreeze then it means that there is acute renal failure (i.e. something has suddenly become toxic to the kidneys.) Dogs with antifreeze poisoning usually have something called calcium oxylate crystals in their urine. There are a number of plants that can cause similar symptoms if ingested. After doing some research I see that apricots actually do contain a small amount of calcium oxalates. If enough of them were eaten they could in theory cause kidney problems. I'll tell you though that I could not find one documented case of this ever happening.

This really doesn't sound like IMHA. While it will cause anemia it really shouldn't cause renal failure.

It definitely sounds like it is because of toxin ingestion. Again, a massive amount of apricots could cause these problems. Or, it is possible that there is another plant in your yard that contains calcium oxalates.

The best thing that can be done here is aggressive IV fluid therapy. It sounds like you caught this early, so hopefully Poppy pulls through!



Customer reply:

Thanks for all the info!

Appreciate your services!


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.