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  • Writer's pictureLonsdale Place Vet

Avocado Awareness: Celebrating National Avocado Day Safely with Your Pets!

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Lonsdale Place Veterinary Clinic North Vancouver

Happy National Avocado Day! Avocado is a delicious and nutrient-rich fruit that has gained immense popularity in recent years. As we celebrate this delightful food, it's essential to remember that while avocados offer numerous health benefits for humans, they may not be safe for our furry companions. As responsible pet owners and veterinarians, we must understand the potential risks associated with feeding avocados to pets. In this blog, we'll explore why avocados can be problematic for animals and what signs to watch out for if your pet accidentally ingests this fruit.

Why are Avocados Dangerous for Pets?

Avocados contain a compound called persin, which is a natural fungicidal toxin. While humans can generally tolerate persin, it can be harmful to various animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and even large animals like horses and cattle. The level of toxicity depends on the type and amount of avocado consumed, as well as the size and species of the animal.

Potential Hazards of Avocado Consumption

  1. Gastrointestinal Upset: The most common issue when a pet consumes avocado is gastrointestinal upset. They may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

  2. Pancreatitis: Avocado's high-fat content can trigger pancreatitis in some animals. This condition is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas and can be extremely painful and potentially life-threatening.

  3. Obstruction: The avocado's large seed poses a choking hazard and may cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed.

  4. Cardiac Issues in Birds and Rodents: Avocado consumption has been associated with cardiac problems in birds and small rodents, leading to sudden and unexpected deaths.

  5. Allergic Reactions: Some pets may develop allergies to avocados, leading to skin irritation, itching, or hives.

Symptoms of Avocado Toxicity in Pets

If you suspect your pet has ingested avocado or any part of the fruit, be vigilant for these signs:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Swollen abdomen

  • Weakness or lethargy

  • Tremors or seizures

  • Abnormal heart rate

If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary attention.

As we enjoy National Avocado Day, let's remember that some foods that are good for us may not be suitable for our pets. Avocado, with its toxic compound persin, can be harmful to animals and should be kept out of their reach. Instead, opt for safe and nutritious alternatives to treat your furry friends. If you suspect your pet has ingested avocado or is showing any signs of distress, contact your veterinarian immediately. Being mindful of what we feed our pets ensures their health and happiness, making it possible for them to share in our joy on special occasions like this one. Happy National Avocado Day, and here's to many safe and delightful treats for your beloved companions!



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