ISSN 2398-2969      

Quercus spp poisoning

icanis
Contributor(s):

Nicola Bates

Kate Murphy

Synonym(s): Oak poisoning; Acorn poisoning


Introduction

  • Cause: tannins and possibly other compounds.
  • Signs: gastrointestinal signs and less commonly elevated renal parameters and liver enzymes.
  • Diagnosis: history of ingestion and evidence of plant material in vomitus or feces.
  • Treatment: supportive with management of gastrointestinal obstruction if required.
  • Prognosis: favorable.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  •  Quercus species contain tannic acid, but this may not be the only substance responsible for the toxic effects observed in animals. 
  • Toxicity is not reduced by drying or freezing. 
  • The buds and immature acorns contain the highest concentration of tannins.
  • The effects are mainly gastrointestinal. Elevated liver enzymes and renal injury may occur.
  • Tannic acid may lead to increased vascular permeability and subsequent fluid loss, which may be the cause of edema and fluid accumulation (this is mainly seen in ruminants and horses, rather than dogs).

Predisposing factors

General

  • None known.

Specific

Timecourse

  • Gastrointestinal signs may occur within a few hours.
  • Duration generally 12-72 hours, but recovery may occasionally take up to a week.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Pérez V, Doce R R, García-Pariente C, Hervás G, Ferreras M C, Mantecón Á R, Frutos P (2011) Oak leaf ( Quercus pyrenaica) poisoning in cattle. Res Vet Sci 91 (2), 269-277 PubMed.
  • Yeruham I, Avidar Y, Perl S, Yakobson B, Shlosberg A, Hanji V, Bogin E (1998) Probable toxicosis in cattle in Israel caused by the oak Quercus calliprinos. Vet Hum Toxicol 40 (6), 336-340 PubMed.
  • Spier S J, Smith B P, Seawright A A, Norman B B, Ostrowski S R, Oliver M N (1987) Oak toxicosis in cattle in northern California: clinical and pathological  findings.  J Am Vet Med Assoc 191 (8), 958-964 PubMed.
  • Anderson GA, Mount ME, Vrins AA, Ziemer EL (1983) Fatal acorn poisoning in a horse: pathologic findings and diagnostic considerations.  J Am Vet Med Assoc 182 (10), 1105-1110 PubMed.
  • Neser J A, Coetzer J A W, Boomker J & Cable H (1982) Oak ( Quercus robur) poisoning in cattle.  J S Afr Vet Assoc 53 (3), 151-155 PubMed.

Organisation(s)

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