Conker poisoning in dogsConkers are the seed of the horse chestnut nut tree, a very common species in the UK, which are found lying on the ground in the autumn time. Similar to acorns, curious dogs may pick up conkers to play with. Read what our vet advises about conkers in our article.This article was written by a FirstVet vetDid you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.✓ Included free as part of many pet insurance policies✓ Help, treatment and if you need it, a referral to your local vet✓ Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Rating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1300 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviews BOOK Clinical signs of conker poisoningThe first signs of the toxicity are seen between 1 and 6 hours after ingestion, although signs can be delayed for 48 hours.Signs of toxicity include:RestlessnessWobblinessMuscle tremorsDroolingAbdominal painVomiting +/- bloodDiarrhoeaIncreased thirstReduced appetiteCause of conker poisoningAlthough conker toxicity is rare, accidental ingestion can lead to problems. The major toxic component of conkers is aesculin, which is found in all parts of the tree, including the leaves. The mechanism of toxicity remains unclear.What can you do to help your pet?Preventing your dog from eating conkers, whether you are outside or on a walk, is the best way to avoid conker poisoning. If you notice that your dog picks up, chews or swallows conkers, it is important to seek prompt veterinary advice.Treatment of conker poisoningThe first thing that your vet will do is give your dog medication to induce vomiting to remove the stomach contents. They may also perform gastric lavage to wash out the stomach. In this way, as much of the potentially toxic material is removed from your pet’s digestive system.The main treatment for conker poisoning is supportive treatment to manage the clinical signs, including fluid therapy and correction of electrolyte imbalances. In cases where conkers cause intestinal obstruction, surgery might be necessary.When to call your vet?If you are concerned that your dog may have eaten a conker(s)Read more: Are acorns dangerous for dogs?Still worried?Book a video appointment to have a chat with one of our vets.