Fruit can make a healthy treat for dogs and their pet parents! And many fruits are healthy for dogs, including cherries. There are times when you may be distracted in the kitchen or outside, and your dog decides to eat one or more cherries that still have the pit in them. But what happens if your dog eats cherry pits?
Has your dog eaten cherry pits? Are you worried that the cherry pits will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve gathered information about cherry pits and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What are Cherry Pits?
Cherries, like other stone fruit, contain a large pit. These pits are the seeds of the cherry tree! Most of the time, the pits are tossed away, along with the leaves and stems of the fruit.
However, cherry pits do have some uses. Cherry pits contain antioxidants, and they have anti-inflammatory properties. These are valuable for preventing cell damage and protecting the body against certain diseases. For instance, cherry extracts (also made with cherry pits) help to lower uric acid levels and may be helpful for people with gout.
In addition, cherry pits contain chemicals that are extracted for making liqueur. But what happens if a dog eats cherry pits?
Cherry Pits & Dogs
Unfortunately, cherry pits, leaves, and stems contain a substance called cyanide. Cyanide is a poison that can be toxic if eaten in large amounts. However, one cherry pit doesn’t contain enough cyanide to poison a dog, even a small dog. A dog would have to eat and chew up many cherry pits to become poisoned.
“Chewing” is the key, as the cyanide is released if the cherry pit has been chewed up. If the pit remains whole, it will not poison a dog.
There is another problem with whole cherry pits. It’s possible that several cherry pits could become lodged in the dog’s digestive tract and cause an intestinal blockage. This condition can be lethal if not treated.
Symptoms of Cherry Pit Ingestion in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten cherry pits:
- Inflamed gums
- Trouble breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Abdominal pain & swelling
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment of Cherry Pit Ingestion in Dogs
Treatment of cherry pit ingestion depends on the vet’s diagnosis. For instance, if your dog is diagnosed with cyanide toxicity, the vet will treat your fur baby with hydroxocobalamin and oxygen. They may also treat your canine companion with activated charcoal. The hydroxocobalamin works to detoxify the cyanide, while the activated charcoal works to keep your dog’s system from absorbing the poison. The vet will also treat other symptoms as they arise.
On the other hand, if your dog has been diagnosed with an intestinal blockage, they may need to perform surgery. The surgery is done to remove the cherry pits from your fur baby’s digestive tract and repair any damage the pits may have done.
The prognosis is best for dogs who receive prompt medical treatment after ingesting cherry pits. In the future, it’s best to keep cherries that contain pits and cherry pits out of your dog’s reach. You’ll both be happier for it!