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Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts? Everything You Need To Know

No, dogs cannot eat macadamia nuts as they are considered toxic even if consumed in a small amount. However, these nuts are among the top human consumed foods proven to be very harmful in your dog’s diet. It causes macadamia nut toxicosis leading to various life-threatening symptoms, and one must consult a vet immediately if a dog has consumed macadamia nuts.

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What are Macadamia Nuts?

Macadamia nuts, also known as Queensland nuts or Australia Nuts,  are cultivated in the USA, Hawaii, and Australia. They come from the Proteaceae family. It is widely used in cookies, chocolates, candies, and even eaten by itself. 

Are Macadamia Nuts Safe For Dogs?

No, macadamia nuts are not safe for dogs and should not be served to them. Macadamia nuts are considered to be dangerous for your dog’s health. Unlike grapes and raisins, the specific toxin in macadamia nuts is unknown. However, one reason is the high-fat content present in it. 

Why Are Macadamia Nuts Bad For Dogs?

Macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs. This is because they are high in fat. The symptoms will show after 3 to 12 hours of macadamia nut consumption and last for the next 3 days. Let us see how macadamia nuts affect a dog:

Fat: Excessive fat in macadamia nuts can lead to:

  • Obesity
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Joint issues
  • Heart issues
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia

Other symptoms which are common if a dog consumes macadamia nuts are:

  • Paralysis
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Ataxia (Uncoordinated muscles)
  • Nausea 
  • Tremors 
  • Fever
  • Lethargy 
  • Pieces of nuts in stool
  • Indigestion 
  • Stomach issues
  • Pancreatitis (Inflammation of pancreas)

Some mild signals might recover over the week, but some severe cases need to be taken care of by the vet. The symptoms are:

  • High fever
  • Constant shaking
  • Inability to walk
  • Collapsing of back legs
  • Death

How Much Macadamia Nuts To Feed Your Dog?

Macadamia nuts of any amount are dangerous for your dog. It is said that low doses like 2.4 grams per kilogram can cause muscle strain in dogs and 64.2 grams per kilogram of dogs are proven to need immediate treatments. 

Macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs. The Animal Poison Control received over 48 calls from 1987 to 2001 with similar symptoms in dogs who consumed Macadamia nuts. 

What If My Dog Ate Macadamia Nuts?

Macadamia nuts are very dangerous for dogs. If your dog ingested Macadamia nuts in an hour or so, there could be some mild symptoms like vomiting and fever.

The symptoms may deteriorate and can turn into a high fever, lasting for days. As nuts are high in fat, they cause gastrointestinal problems and stomach issues. It would help if you visited the vet as soon as possible.

Symptoms that are seen after the ingestion of macadamia nuts in dogs are:

  • Stomach pain
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Hind Limbs
  • Hyperthermia 
  • Depression
  • Temporary changes in blood compositions
  • Severe weakness 
  • High fever
  • Collapsing of back legs
  • Jaundice 
  • Increased drinking 
  • Increased urination 
  • Seizures
  • Death

Alternatives to Macadamia Nuts

You must always choose healthier alternatives for your dog instead of macadamia nuts. Here are a few healthier alternatives: 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to cure my dog of Macadamia poisoning? 

Sorbitol, a cathartic medication, will aid in inducing bowel movements and eliminating the nuts. The severity of the symptoms will determine other treatments. For example, you may subject your dog to medication to reduce fever and make him more comfortable. In some cases, intravenous fluids may be required. If your dog ingested a large amount, the veterinarian might want to keep him for 48 hours to monitor his symptoms. Other concurrent poisonings may necessitate more aggressive treatment, such as chocolate or raisin toxicity.

How to diagnose macadamia poisoning in a dog?

Macadamia nut poisoning is diagnosed based on symptoms and a history of macadamia nut ingestion. Missing food containers or pieces of undigested nuts in the stool can be a good indicator if you didn’t witness the incident. A blood test will often show elevated serum lipase activity in dogs with macadamia nut poisoning, as well as hyperthermia (higher than average body temperature) and signs of muscle weakness. Additional testing may be required to rule out infection or more severe poisonings such as ethylene glycol toxicity, especially if there is no history of macadamia nut ingestion.

How to recover my dog from macadamia nut poisoning?

Almost all known cases in which macadamia nut was the only toxin consumed resulted in complete recovery. However, it’s still a good idea to seek treatment, especially if your dog consumed large amounts of macadamia nuts. 

A combination with a more toxic substance may result in a different prognosis. Without treatment, both chocolate and grape overdose can be life-threatening. The best way to deal with macadamia nut poisoning is to avoid it in the first place. Do not leave cookies out to cool in a place where your dog can get to them—store bags on a high shelf or in a dog-proof canister. Put old or sullied nuts in an encased trash can and, if possible, teach your dog to avoid unfamiliar foods.

Final Thoughts

It is now easy to comprehend how macadamia nuts can cause your dog severe life-threatening symptoms. These nuts are proven to cause more damage to dogs. Therefore, it is always better to get in touch with your vet when you are pursuing any new food in your dog’s diet.

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