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We're trying to diagnose a recurring limp in my 6mo puppy. Been to the vet a few times, x-rays, etc.

But I had a outside thought. He's been eating the apples that fall in the front yard, and I just learned that he shouldn't eat the seeds due to the cyanide. He's been doing it probably for the last 3 months.

So we've dealt with that, but I'm curious if anyone has experience with consistent low-level cyanide poisoning, in a dog or any other animal. Can you be specific about the symptoms? If motor control was effected, was it widespread or at least symmetric, or was it limited e.g. to a specific limb? Did it come and go, or was it persistent? Did the animal recover eventually after removing the cyanide exposure?

Basically, I can find general lists of symptoms, but I'm interested in how it played out in specific cases.

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It's unlikely your puppy ate enough seeds, or for long enough (just 3 months) to cause problems. According to this vet

While it’s unlikely your dog would chew up and eat enough seeds to become ill or die (for comparison, an adult would need to eat about a cup of seeds to suffer any ill effects), it’s still easier and safer to remove seeds and stems before serving the apple to your pet.

Similarly, Modern Dog Magazine

Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, the deleterious effects can accumulate over time if allowed to eat apple seeds regularly.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has a list of symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs.

Abnormal behavior, aggression, changing habits, Ataxia, Bloody stools, feces, hematochezia, Coma, Congestion oral mucous membranes, Decreased respiratory rate, Diarrhea, Dysmetria, Dyspnea, Excessive salivation, Excitement, Fecal incontinence, Forelimb spasms, Generalized weakness, Head, face, neck spasms, Hindlimb spasms, Hyperesthesia, Inability to stand, Increased respiratory rate, Miosis, Mydriasis, Seizures or syncope, Sudden death, Urinary incontinence

Since you still don't have a diagnosis for the limping, I would mention the apples next time you see your vet. But in the meantime, I wouldn't worry.

  • Thanks, I've seen those links. As I said, it's easy to come by lists of symptoms (which always include some form of weakness, paralysis, or other ataxia), but I'm interested in specific cases. Furthermore, 1 cup of seeds for a 160 lb adult would correspond to 1 Tbs of seeds for my 10 lb puppy, which he could easily consume in the 2 or 3 apples he sometimes eats in a day. No idea if he breaks the seeds open or not. I'm happy to hear that you don't think 3 months of that is long enough! But can you point me to anything that discusses duration of exposure? None of these links mention it. – jmilloy Sep 22 '16 at 18:10

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