Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Dogs poisoned by Karaka berries in Wellington suburbs

Dogs poisoned by Karaka berries in Wellington suburbs

Veterinarians in western Wellington suburbs have reported treating dogs poisoned by karaka berries, according to the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA).

Dr Brendon Bullen, a representative of NZVA’s Companion Animal Society, practises at Pet Doctors in Kelburn. “I've treated one case of karaka berry poisoning at Kelburn, and Karori Vet Clinic has had one suspected and one definite case,” he says.

Karaka is an endemic tree to New Zealand and found spread throughout both the North Island and northern South Island. Karaka trees are fairly well distributed throughout Wellington city suburbs, as well as the Hutt Valley. “Karaka berries are orange, 25-45mm long and produced January to April,” says Dr Bullen.

“They are a major food source for kereru, but the fresh kernels contain the alkaloid karakin which is highly toxic to other animals.”

Owing to their foraging nature, dogs will often hunt out and consume berry kernels, which are plentiful right now across bushy areas in Wellington suburbs. NZVA advises dog owners to take extreme care when walking their dogs, as even consumption of older berry kernels carries toxic risk.

“There is a high amount of variability in the concentration of karakin depending on maturity of the plant, soil factors, climate and season, so clinical signs and toxic dose is variable,” says Dr Bullen. “Berries remain toxic for a long time, and animals can be poisoned by previous year’s fruit.”

Clinical signs of karaka poisoning in dogs are neurological. “Signs include weakness, hind leg paralysis, proprioceptive deficits, progressive dystonia and convulsions which can lead to death,” Dr Bullen explains. “There is often a delay of 24-48 hours between ingestion and clinical signs,” he adds.

Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Reported cases have taken up to six weeks for normal neurological function to return.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news