Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Toxicology Tuesday, November 13

During Michigan week, you just know we have to talk about BUCKEYES. We already know they are the greatest college football team in the world, but are they

Toxic or Not?

Answer: Toxic

Most cases of buckeye poisoning involve livestock, including cattle, sheep, pigs and horses, which graze on the young sprouts and leaves of the trees when other forage is scarce. Not every animal which eats the plants shows signs of poisoning, however. The buckeye seed or “nut” is toxic as well, although not to squirrels, which will eat them when more favored foods are not available.

The toxic element is called aesculin, and poisoning affects the nervous system. Incoordination and staggering, weakness and trembling, dilated pupils, depression or hyperexcitability, coma and death may all result from buckeye poisoning. GI signs are also common: dogs may have severe gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea), while horses exhibit colic.

There is no specific antidote. Like many poisoning cases, treatment is limited to decontamination and supportive care.

A fact that is well-known to Ohio State fans was not documented in any of the literature I read. Ohio Buckeyes, while toxic to many species, are, without a doubt, absolutely FATAL to Michigan Wolverines!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hey Katdoc, I don't think it would be good for animals to eat buckeyes, too much roughage. I don't know if they are poisonous.

I do have a question. I haven't seen you mention bananas. Are they poisonous to dogs?? My dog has decided she likes bananas probalby because I have one nearly every day. I don't remember reading about this. I don't know if I missed it because I haven't been reading your blog for long or if it is not an issue.

I didn't think grapes were an issue but they are. My previous dog loved them and I shared with him but he wasn't a glutton for them thankfully. I didn't notice any adverse affects when he had a few.

nina said...

I recall investigating this once, before--when hearing that the OSU mascot was a nut. How threatening...but at least he's a poisonous nut!

Lisa said...

It's only fitting that the mascot is a nut, 'cause the FANS sure are...!

I say toxic, but I don't remember why. My bad, I guess I wasn't paying attention. :}

Kathy said...

I will guess toxic.

Anonymous said...

Every kid who grew up in the South knows that one side of the Buckeye is poisonous and the other is tasty.

Buckeyes are toxic to dogs and cause vomiting and diarrhea.

KGMom said...

Well, this time I will not attempt to say if buckeyes are toxic to dogs, or not.
I do know, however, that they are toxic to lions (Nittany lions, that is).
Sorry, just couldn't resist.

littleorangeguy said...

So that's what a buckeye is. I'd call it a chestnut. I don't know from toxic but I do know they induce virtually uncontrollable super-competitive behaviour in bloggoveterinarians....

Sara said...

I suppose that if Wolverines are as you say, "the axis of evil", then Buckeyes must be toxic !

Anonymous said...

LOG, the buckeye is also called the horse chestnut. But what state wants to be known as the horse chestnut state?

holly said...

I don't know but a little ol' local lady makes chocolate and peanut butter buckeyes and oh MAN are they good!

Also, in one of my favorite books, the woman was called Buckeye by her brother because she was little and round and dark.

That's about the extent of my buckeye knowledge/trivia! But I'm going to guess non toxic but could cause a choking hazard. Just because.

Lisa said...

Sorry, anonymous, but horse-chestnut and buckeye are two different species in the same genus (says li'l sis, horning in.)