There's more than 1 point of view. A few believe they're absolutely right. Everyone else hopes they're right. There are fanatics, and there are sheep. It can be very divisive.
How many people blogged about food this week? So far, from my short reading list -
HERE at Rescued Insanity.
HERE at Daley's Dog Years.
More specific to arthritis, HERE at Dawg Business.
More specific to skin issues, the comments section HERE at No Dog About It. [Which by the way, is a very interesting post for anyone who has a dog with skin problems.]
A review of a nutritional supplement, HERE at Trixie, Lily and Sammy-Joe.
And let's not forget our very own liver treat recipes, HERE!
There's a lot of interesting information in those links for anyone who's keen. Be prepared for a lively discussion and many points of view, both in the posts, the links in those posts, and in the comments.
I'm still learning what to feed Rufus and Georgia. Their menu is an evolving one. It often changes to suit their health scare of the moment. I have absolutely no idea what they might be eating 6 months from now. As happy as I am with their current diet, Rufus is already showing signs of boredom. He's a picky eater.
Georgia, however, will eat anything and everything, which leads me to the most important part of this post for me - what dogs SHOULDN'T be eating.
Would anyone out there have any idea what this is, and if it's toxic to dogs?
Georgia's been eating a lot of them every morning. She often runs off in the park to do her own thing and to scrounge for food. We only found out what she was eating because she brought one back to The Other Half and dropped it at his feet.
We think [but we're not sure] that it comes from these palm trees.
If we had a name, I could google for more information.
The seeds come out whole in her stools. This morning, she also vomited this fine number.
I was horrified to see how many there were and can't imagine what her gut looks like. I'm waiting for a call back from the vet as I type this.
Georgia isn't the only dog who enjoys them. See those blurry waggy tails?
I would be grateful for any information! Thank you :)
Update 5pm I'm sorry the pictures weren't very clear. I've been asked for more information via email.
*The skin is smooth, shiny, thin and somewhat leathery.
*The orange "flesh" part is fibrous but not dry.
*It's about the colour of a kumquat, and the size of a large grape - maybe about 1 inch long.
*It has no smell that I can remember. I didn't taste it [but I will the next time I get one].
*It has one large seed that is more oval/egg-shaped than round.
Update Saturday, 10.45 am, 26th February I spent quite a while googling for answers yesterday, and found many dogowners out there asking the very same question I did. It appears dogs everywhere love this fruit, and will rush over for a feed whenever they see them, much to the concern of the people who have this plant in their garden!
I've decided to update this post with the information I've gathered, in case someone else needs it one day.
Based on your comments and emails [thank you!], a chat with the vet yesterday evening, a chat with a Callan Park gardener and another dogowner with a similar experience this morning, and of course, googling! we've come to this conclusion:
The fruit is indeed from a palm tree - the Cocos or Queen Palm.
I found this interesting comment on some forum, that was a reply to another worried dogowner. He seems to know what he's talking about, so I've copied and pasted it here -
RE: Cocos Palm information needed
Posted by CoralCoast_Tropicals z11 Qld, Aust (My Page) on Sun, Feb 13, 05 at 19:55
Actually the name has changed a few times, it was once known as Cocos plumosa and as such was placed in the same genus as the true 'Cocos', Cocos nucifera, the Coconut Palm which is completely different.
It was then given the name Arecastrum romanzoffianum for a number of years before finally being placed with the Syagrus genus and given the name Syagrus romanzoffianum.
As Len stated the correct common name is 'Queen Palm' and here in Queensland it was known as that until the likes of Don Burke and others came on the scene and started calling it 'Cocos'. This causes a fair bit of confusion here in Queensland with the Coconut palm which unlike the Queen Palm is not an environmental weed that pops up everywhere.
As for the toxicity of the flesh or seeds, I remember as a child eating them and am now still here! My neighbour has 2 German Shepherds and a number of Queen Palms in her yard. I see the dogs chewing on them all the time and they are still alive as well. They only seem to be chewing the ripe fruit as the green fruit is still on the tree.
Thanks for that, Andrew, whoever you are :)
Here are some pictures of the tree and fruit that were taken this morning at Callan Park, under a slightly brighter sky.
The pulp is very slimy. It didn't taste particularly good to me [being slimy] but it is sweetish. Maybe that's why so many dogs like eating them. The seed, as you can see, is black [I was asked this question yesterday, via email, and didn't have an answer then]. It's also smooth, without any scoring.
The picture wasn't posed. Georgia tried to grab the fruit out of my hand as it was being taken. Having tasted the fruit for myself, I really do wonder what dogs see in it.
I'll have to continue with my findings later. Off for some exercise now and it looks like I'm already late for my bus!
Update Saturday, 5.10pm, 26th February It's quite certain now that this palm fruit is not toxic to dogs. The seeds pass out of the system.
In Georgia's case, there was both diarrhea and vomiting. So it's possible that the fruit did irritate her digestive system. It could also be because she didn't just have 1 or 2. No, Ms Pea had at least 15. That was the number that passed out of her system yesterday. That we were able to count.
I was worried about blockage. The vet said it would probably not be a problem because of Georgia's size. I'm not sure how that would work with littledogs.
Under vet's orders, it's back to small meals of easily digestible pap until her system clears. And, lucky girl, she gets to walk on the leash for the whole of next week just to be sure she doesn't pick up any more rubbish to eat. She's not going to be happy.
An important note - not all palm fruit is benign.
In my googling, I came across some palm trees that are listed as being toxic to animals. These include the Australian Cardboard Palm, Coontie Palm, Fern Palm, Foxtail Palm, Grass Palm, Ivy Palm, and the Sago Palm. I'm not familiar with most of them, but list them here in case you should be interested in finding out more.
Like Alice falling into the rabbit-hole, my search led eventually to this - a [long, yet not definitive] list of plants that are poisonous to dogs, cats and horses. You'll be amazed at some of the plants listed. You might have them in your garden. I know there are some in mine.
An excerpt from the 2nd link -
"Sago Palm - While the seeds and nuts of this plant are most poisonous, the entire plant is toxic. Animals ingesting parts of this plant may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, depression, seizures and liver failure."
I'm pretty glad Georgia didn't have any sago palm fuit.
ThaNks again! to everyone who commented and wrote in to share information and their experiences. I hope this post will one day be as helpful to someone else in the same situation :)