Charity warns: Beware of autumn dangers to pets

Blue Cross pet charity is warning dog owners to be vigilant around conkers and acorns which can poison them if eaten.

Some owners may throw conkers for pets to catch without realising the activity is potentially fatal. Dogs can easily swallow conkers which can become lodged in their throat or intestines and dogs with blockages, or suspected blockages, could need surgery to remove them. Dogs may also chew and eat conkers and acorns causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

Alison Thomas, Head of Veterinary Services at Blue Cross, said: “Many dog owners do not realise that these iconic symbols of autumn can make dogs very sick, in some cases even deadly. Encouraging your dog to play with conkers is dangerous and can lead to tragic circumstances. Be vigilant on walks to make sure they aren’t picking them up or playing with them. Keep them on a lead around conkers and acorns if you aren’t 100% sure they would come back to you when called. Contact your vet if they appear unwell after a walk where there may have been conkers or acorns”

Signs of poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • lethargy
  • Restlessness with discomfort and pain
  • Loss of appetite

Signs of illness usually show between one and six hours after ingestion but can be delayed for up to two days.

For more information, visit www.bluecross.org.uk/autumn.