Ask Dr Claire

My dog has been eating a lot of the small orange fruits that fall from our palm tree and now appears to be constipated. Could this be why and are they poisonous?

The Queen palm tree or Focus palm has orange fruit. They are not listed as toxic, but eating the orange fruits still have the potential to be dangerous when eaten. There can be toxic types of palms.

They could cause:

  • Blockage of the tummy. While some objects go straight in one end and out the other,
    there’s also a chance of them getting stuck in the intestines and forming a blockage along the way. This is called an obstruction of the gut and is really serious (can be
    life-threatening) if left untreated. Obviously it depends on the size of the object in comparison to your dog, so a small fruit might be okay to be passed by a full grown Labrador, but not for example a Chihuahua.
  • Upset stomach. They are more likely to cause diarrhoea or gut ache than constipation.

So whilst not toxic, you should not allow your dog to eat them.

(FYI on a government website it states: Existing Cocos Palms should be removed and replaced with appropriate local natives).

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Chat soon,

Dr Claire