Macadamia nuts come from trees indigenous to Madagascar and Australia but are now also found in Hawaii and California. The nuts, which are sold commercially and available in most grocery stores, can result in poisoning in dogs if ingested. This type of poisoning hasn’t been reported in cats.
What’s in it: The toxin in macadamia nuts hasn’t yet been identified, but the mechanism may involve motor neurons, neuromuscular junctions, and muscle fibers or neurotransmitters.
Signs: Within three to six hours, dogs exhibit lethargy, vomiting, and hyperthermia. Within six to 12 hours, hind limb weakness, hind end weakness, and tremors occur. Additionally, there may be signs of abdominal pain, lameness, joint stiffness, and pale mucous membranes.
Treatment: Appropriate decontamination should be performed if the dog ingested more than 1 g/kg of nuts. As there’s no antidote, supportive measures such as in-hospital monitoring, IV fluids, and anti-vomiting medications may be necessary.
Prognosis: Good. Recovery generally occurs within 24 to 48 hours.