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Dog ate acorn

Species: Dog
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 5-8 years
Dear Dr. Marie:

Back again! While on a walk tonight, Jammy may have gotten a bit of acorn. I was watching her closely because I know that acorns are bad for dogs, but I couldn't stop her from nabbing part of one (I don't think she got a whole one). It's been about 20 minutes and she seems fine, but I know that's probably not long enough for her to show any symptoms of distress from it.

Also on this ill-fated walk, she chewed up a bit of her poopy bag and swallowed it. She didn't get much of it, definitely not the whole thing, but I'm wondering what I should look for.

I don't think that these things are emergencies, but I wanted to check with you to see what I should be watching for and if I should I do anything.

Thank you!
Julie

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Julie!

I have good news for you...acorns are generally not toxic to dogs.

The biggest concern, when a dog eats an acorn is that the acorn could cause an intestinal obstruction. I'd be more concerned if Jammy was a little dog, but a Border Collie really should be able to pass an acorn just fine.

Large animals such as horses and cows can get sick from eating acorns. This is mostly because they are likely to eat a large amount (i.e. grazing in a field with lots of fallen acorns) and also because their intestinal tracts break down the acorn.

In theory, if a dog ate a massive amount of acorns and chewed each one (i.e. to expose the stuff on the inside) then this could cause some toxicity. But, if Jammy ate a tiny amount I wouldn't be worried.

Regarding her poop bag, the answer really depends on how much she ate. Again, if she ate a small amount this will likely pass through just fine.

I think the chances of Jammy getting an obstruction from either the poop bag or the acorn are small, but if you notice excessive vomiting and lack of appetite then she should take a trip to the vet's.

Hope all is well!

Dr. Marie.



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Customer reply:

Thank you for your response. She seems to be fine more than 36 hours later, except for the frequency of her stools. She pooped once yesterday morning (12 hours after she ate the acorn and part of the poopy bag) but not since then. Usually she goes one to two times a day or more--should I wait to see if she will go again in the next few hours?

I really appreciate your help! I'm trying to convince my husband that we should make the 8 hour drive up to your vet clinic. :o)


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

That would be quite the commute! I have some clients who drive an hour to see me, but 8 would be a little excessive. :)

It's not a bad idea to see if Jammy will eat a bran muffin, or some canned food with 1/4 tsp bran on it. This may help to move things along.

It doesn't sound like an obstruction though, but if we start to see a lack of appetite and vomiting then I'd have her seen.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Okay, that's good to hear. She hasn't vomited but last night (about 24 hours after the acorn/poopy bag incident) her tummy was bothering her (she ate some grass and was trying to eat the carpet a bit, which have been signs in the past that her tummy wasn't feeling so great). I fed her half of her dinner right away and she seemed to be fine--so I think it was related to being hungry and not necessarily her extra-cirricular eating activities from the night before.


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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.