Macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs
Steven R. Hansen, DVM, MS, DABVT
Macadamia nuts are cultivated in the United States from Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla trees commonly found in Hawaii. The commercially produced nuts are popular as party treats and as ingredients in cookies and candies. Each year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) receives calls concerning dogs consuming varying amounts of macadamia nuts (see boxed text). These relatively infrequent calls involve remarkably consistent findings and outcomes.
From 1987 to 2001, the ASPCA APCC received 48 calls concerning dogs consuming macadamia nuts. Clinical signs commonly reported from most to least frequent were weakness, depression, vomiting, ataxia, tremors, and hyperthermia (Figure 1).1 In 94% of cases from 1998 to 2001, dogs that had consumed macadamia nuts were reported to be showing at least one of these clinical
signs (ASPCA APCC AnTox Medical Record Database: Unpublished data, 1987-2001).
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