Dog Walkers: Beware of Conkers & Acorns


Fruit of the horse-chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) 

Also known as: Horse Chestnut, Buck Eye, Chestnuts, Obblyonkers, Cheggies or Cheesers


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Conkers contain a chemical called aesculin (found in all parts of the horse chestnut tree) which is toxic to dogs if chewed and eaten.

Fatalities in cases where dogs have eaten conkers are rare but it can still make your dog very sick. They can also be swallowed whole which can cause an abdominal obstruction.

Signs of poisoning usually appear within one to six hours.



Clinical signs are:

• drooling

• excessive drinking

• vomiting

• diarrhoea (diarrhea)

• abdominal pain

• difficulty breathing.


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Keep a close eye on your dog when you’re out and about this autumn.

If you notice any Horse Chestnut trees or your dog is nose deep in fallen leaves and conkers - call them in and keep them distracted with a toy or treat until it's safe for them to 'go play'

NEVER throw conkers for your dog to fetch.

Seek immediate veterinary advice should you have any worries.

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The acorn is the nut of the oak tree (Quercus robur)

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Acorns contain gallotanins, a combination of gallic acid and tannic acid which can be harmful to dogs.

It can cause stomach upset and diarrhoea in some pets, and in some cases acorn ingestion can cause abdominal obstruction.  

Signs include

• vomiting,

• diarrhoea,

• abdominal pain,

• loss of appetite and lethargy.

Seek immediate veterinary advice should you have any worries.  

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