With the end of summer comes the season of autumn fruits including cherry laurel, conkers, rowan and acorns (above).
Pets, particularly dogs often eat fallen fruit and ingestion of any plant material can cause gastrointestinal signs. Some fruits such as acorns and conkers also pose a risk of gastrointestinal obstruction.
Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) and related species contain toxic cyanogenic glycoside compounds. These are a particular risk in ruminants but in dogs, signs are generally limited to gastrointestinal effects, although the signs can be pronounced.
Windfall fruits, such as apples, have the additional risk of tremorgenic mycotoxin poisoning if they are mouldy or ethanol poisoning if they have fermented. Suspected ethanol poisoning has been reported in wild birds after ingestion of fermented fruits.
If you are concerned about the risk of poisoning with any plant, call us for advice on risk and appropriate management. We have a plant identification service available which you can request if an owner has a sample of the plant or flower but is unsure what species it is.