Cherries harm dogs for many reasons. Your beloved canine could go from munching on cherry pits to gnawing on the leaves and stems. And like the stones, cherry stalks and leaves contain cyanide potent enough to cause fatality in an animal.
Here are some of the significant factors why they aren’t safe for your dog:
Cherry pits – the hard outer shell covering of cherry seeds – are tough to digest. And given that there are lots of pits in a single cherry, it’s easy to see how these hard substances can block your furry pal’s intestines. What’s worse, the intestinal blockage could lead to severe pain, which, if not treated, results in death.
A dog suffering from the painful symptoms of intestinal blockage can find relief through one process only – surgery. The cost of surgery combined with the physical torture your canine friend would pass through isn’t worth the fleeting satisfaction that comes from feeding your dog cherries.
An esophageal ulcer occurs when the rough, jagged exterior of a seed grates against the esophageal canal of a dog, causing pains there.
Sometimes, the friction in the esophagus could be so much that it tears the walls of the throat. Tears then create an opening for bacteria which leads to infections.
Sadly, despite receiving treatment for an infected esophagus, the esophagus might lose the ability to stretch like before, which could make swallowing torturous for your pooch.
Another phenomenon that often happens aside from esophageal ulcers is the total blockage of the esophagus canal. This occurs when pits and stems lodge in your dog’s throat, thereby preventing airflow to and from the lungs.
An esophageal blockage bears similarity to a choking hazard, and choking hazards could spell death for dogs in a matter of minutes.
Cyanide is a highly poisonous substance that causes death within seconds when ingested. Inside every cherry stone, there’s some quantity of cyanide that could lead to a disastrous outcome when chewed.
Note that when swallowed whole, cherry pits can’t cause cyanide poisoning. Instead, cyanide toxicity occurs when your pooch chews through the hard cherry stone, hence releasing the toxic content within.
And since dogs are prone to do battle with their teeth, there’s always a high likelihood that a dog that happens on a cherry fruit will, more often than not, gnaw on the tough cherry stone exterior after eating up the fruit’s succulent flesh.
Below are the signs of cyanide poisoning:
- Bright red gums
- Labored breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Teeth fracture
The outer shell of a cherry stone is so hard, some folks who intend to plant the seeds break it using a hammer.
Imagine your dog with its innate instinct to chew and crack things open, biting down on a hard cherry pit and accidentally chipping a tooth. What’s worse, a chipped tooth could damage a nerve ending in the pulp, causing severe pains and swollen gums.
Furthermore, if the chip extends to the crown – the part of the tooth that sits in the gum, then there’s going to be a need for tooth surgery which could be mentally and financially taxing.
If you leave fresh wine for a while, it starts to ferment. The same applies to cherries that have been left to rot that later end up in your dog’s stomach.
Consequently, ethanoic acid in the fruit bonds with the hemoglobin in the blood and depletes the oxygen there. The depleted oxygen in the hemoglobin starves the brain of the energy it needs and causes partial brain shutdown, which leads to intoxication.
Incidentally, intoxication among dogs is peculiar to dog parents who own cherry orchards. Although dog owners who accidentally feed rotting cherries may not have an intoxicated dog on their hands often, it does happen occasionally, and the result is more often than not disastrous.