Macadamia Nut Toxicity
Our family just received two boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts from some friends who vacationed in Hawaii. Our 2-year-old black Labrador Retriever is very interested in them and has tried to eat them twice. Is there enough chocolate in those to cause problems?
While chocolate can be a concern, the macadamia nut itself may be more toxic. In the past five years we have become aware that macadamia nuts, when ingested by dogs, can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, and tremors.
The amount of nuts required to produce these signs is quite variable, but there have been sufficient numbers of documented reports to warrant being especially careful to keep these away from your curious (and hungry) pet. The mechanisms by which macadamia nuts cause this kind of toxicosis is unknown. Typically, signs appear within 12 hours of ingestion and in the majority of cases resolve in less than 24 hours. It would be wise to keep these nuts out of your dog’s reach at all times. But even with good precautions, “accidents” do occur; so if you find your pet with his/her head inside the box of macadamia nuts, contact your veterinarian or emergency center right away.