The avocado pit. Of all things?! Your dog has chosen to eat that.
And it’s immensely concerning.
Besides, they are huge!
Naturally you are probably finding yourself in a panic; what do you do, when, how?
This is how you should respond.
So, what should you do if your dog has eaten an avocado pit? If your dog has eaten an avocado pit, monitor for signs of choking/discomfort, remove any easily accessible pit, and then immediately contact your vet for advice. Don’t induce vomiting unless directed by a professional. Possible obstruction could require medical intervention.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten An Avocado Pit
First things first, don’t panic. Still, there are immediate steps you need to take. Here’s a quick rundown:
Assess the Situation
Monitor your dog closely for signs of discomfort, like restlessness, difficulty defecating, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
Remember, these symptoms might not appear immediately.
Keep a close eye on your pooch for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Remove Any Fragmented Pit
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a situation where your dog has chewed on the avocado pit but hasn’t fully swallowed it.
In this case, some pit fragments could be left in your dog’s mouth. You may be able to retrieve them.
- Stay Calm: It’s crucial to stay calm and composed. Your dog might be scared or anxious, and your stress can increase their distress.
- Approach Your Dog Carefully: Approach your dog slowly and softly. Make sure they’re comfortable with you being close. You may want to gently pet them to help calm them.
- Open Their Mouth: If your dog allows, gently open their mouth. It’s best if you have someone to help you: one person can hold the dog and keep them calm, while the other checks the mouth.
- Check For Pit Fragments: Check for fragments of the avocado pit. They could be lodged between the teeth, on the tongue, or stuck in the roof of the mouth. Be aware that sharp fragments might cause injury to your dog’s mouth.
- Remove The Fragments: If you can safely reach the pit fragments, gently remove them. Tweezers or a similar tool might help, but be extremely careful not to hurt your dog in the process.
Contact Your Vet
It’s advisable to call your vet straight away, even if they’re not showing any symptoms.
Your vet will provide immediate guidance and may ask you to bring your dog in for a check-up.
No DIY Treatments
Please refrain from attempting any home remedies like inducing vomiting unless specifically directed by your vet.
Inducing vomiting inappropriately could potentially cause further harm.
What Your Vet May Do If Your Dog Has Eaten An Avocado Pit
Conduct A Physical Examination
Once at the vet’s, they’ll likely conduct a physical examination and may order X-rays or an ultrasound to determine whether the pit is causing an obstruction.
Suggest A Wait And See Approach
In the absence of any symptoms or obstructions, your vet might suggest a wait-and-see approach while monitoring your dog’s condition closely.
In the meantime, they could advise dietary modifications to help the pit pass safely if it can.
They May Try To Induce Vomiting
In certain situations, your vet may consider inducing vomiting as a first-line response after your dog has eaten an avocado pit.
This is generally advised only if ingestion was very recent (typically within 2 hours), and the dog is not showing any distress signs.
The process usually involves administering a drug, such as apomorphine or hydrogen peroxide, that stimulates the dog’s vomit reflex.
The goal is to retrieve the pit from the stomach before it moves further into the digestive tract, potentially causing more serious complications.
However, it’s important to note that inducing vomiting isn’t always a suitable or safe option.
The pit could cause harm on the way back up, such as esophageal damage, or it could become lodged in the throat, causing choking.
This procedure should never be attempted at home without direct guidance from a vet, as incorrect dosage or method could lead to serious complications.
Moreover, if too much time has passed since the dog ate the pit, it may have moved beyond the stomach, rendering vomiting ineffective.
This is why contacting your vet immediately after realizing your dog ate an avocado pit is crucial.
They will be able to recommend the best course of action based on timing, the size and health of your dog, and other individual factors.
They May Perform An Endoscopy
If your dog is showing symptoms or if the pit is confirmed to be causing a blockage, your vet may need to perform an endoscopy – a non-surgical procedure that uses a long, flexible tube with a camera to retrieve the pit.
They May Need To Initiate Surgery
In cases where the avocado pit has caused a severe blockage that cannot be removed via endoscopy, or if the pit has caused damage to the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, surgical intervention may be necessary.
This surgery, known as a laparotomy, involves making an incision into the dog’s abdomen to manually remove the pit.
Post-surgery, the dog would typically need to stay in the hospital for a few days for monitoring and pain management.
They might also need antibiotics to prevent infection and a special diet to help their digestive system recover.
The recovery process will depend on the dog’s overall health and the severity of the situation, but most dogs recover well with appropriate post-operative care, which includes plenty of rest, closely following dietary instructions, and administering prescribed medications.
It’s important to keep in mind that any surgical procedure carries inherent risks, such as reaction to anesthesia, infection, and post-operative complications.
Therefore, surgery is typically considered a last resort, only pursued if less invasive methods are not possible or effective.
Will An Avocado Pit Pass Through A Dog?
An avocado pit may be able to pass through your dog, but it’s not guaranteed or particularly likely and it can come with inherent risks.
The key concern here is the size and hardness of the avocado pit.
It’s tough and roughly the size of a golf ball, which poses a significant risk of causing a blockage in your dog’s intestines.
In most cases, it’s unlikely for an avocado pit to pass naturally through a dog’s digestive system without causing some issues.
Another point worth noting here is that avocados contain a toxin called persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Although the highest concentration of persin is found in the leaves and bark of the avocado tree, the pit does contain small amounts.
So, even if your dog somehow manages to swallow and pass the pit, they may still end up with gastrointestinal distress due to the toxin.
Discovering that your dog has ingested an avocado pit, or any large, hard substance, can indeed stir up quite a bit of alarm.
Quick and decisive action is of the essence in such situations.
If you’re reading this right now, pause for a moment and reach out to your vet immediately.
Whether through a phone call or an online platform like Vetster, immediate professional advice is crucial.
At the same time, maintaining composure is key.
Each dog is unique, and it’s always prudent to err on the side of caution.
Therefore, seeking professional guidance is the most effective course of action.
Going forward, it might be wise to place your fruit basket or individual pieces of fruit out of your dog’s reach.
And remember, there’s no need for self-reproach.
Accidents do occur.
What’s important is that we learn and adapt from these experiences.
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I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.