We receive lots of enquires at this time of year about dogs eating acorns (the fruit of oak) and conkers (the seed of the horse chestnut).

With acorns about a quarter of dogs remain well and with conkers about a third of dogs do not develop any signs.

With both acorns and conkers, the most common signs in symptomatic dogs are gastrointestinal.

Acorns can cause vomiting and diarrhoea (which may be haemorrhagic), abdominal tenderness, inappetence and lethargy.  Obstruction is a risk and we have occasional reports of urticaria and oedema (lips, periocular).

Vomiting is the most common effect after ingestion of conkers and other potential signs include abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, lethargy.  Again, gastrointestinal obstruction is a potential risk.

Severe cases of poisoning after ingestion of acorns or conkers in dogs is very uncommon, despite what you may read on the Internet, and the outcome is generally good, although prognosis is more guarded in dogs with obstruction.