“Hello. This is ___________, from Dr. __________’s veterinary office. He is out of the office today, and we have a client who is afraid her dog has eaten a buckeye. We need information about their toxicity. I phoned our usual resource, and they were unable to assist us and inquiries to the ASPCA’s Pet Poison Control cost $60.”
The staff of the Newton Falls Public Library checked the ASPCA’s website [http://www.aspca.org], as it does list 17 common poisonous plants. Buckeyes were not one of them. Pet Medicine: health care and first aid for all household pets by Roger Caras ... [et al.] is a useful and easily understood book, but does not have a very long listing of poisonous plants. The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health does have an extensive list. Buckeyes, especially the shoots and seeds are considered to be toxic in the spring and summer to horses [p.1182].
As this is a question not to be dealt with casually, we did further research and found that buckeyes are also called horse chestnuts. The Ohio Extension Service’s [http://extension.osu.edu] and the Humane Society’s [www.humanesociety.org] websites list them as a poisonous plant.
The caller also needed the symptoms of buckeye poisoning. HealthyPet.com [www.healthypet.com] has the buckeye under Gastrointestinal Toxins. DoctorDog.com [www.doctordog.com] says the ingestion of these nuts “may produce vomiting, abdominal pain and in some cases diarrhea.” Under the Top 10 Things Poisonous to Pets at the website, Vetinfo [ www.vetinfo.com] we found that the “Symptoms of ingestion include: dilated eyes, vomiting/diarrhea, irritation around mouth, swelling of the mouth and throat, excessive drooling, excessive thirst, irregular heartbeat/breathing, muscle tremors, seizures, coma, and death.”
Our caller had enough information for the client. She could now watch her dog for symptoms to determine if it had actually ingested one, before taking it to a veterinary office for care.