How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15713
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

She ate a lot of pistachios with the shells. Is that

Customer Question

She ate a lot of pistachios with the shells. Is that harmful?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Zelda. She's 1
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Zelda?
Customer: No. All else is normal
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

What size dog is Zelda?

How many do you think she had?

Any appetite loss, retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She is about 40 pounds and probably ate 50 or so pistachios with the shells about 3 hours ago. She does not have the symptoms above. Her gums are pink but dry. Her belly seems ok just a little tight/rigid when I press on it.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you,

Now when our dogs eat these kinds of items, we do always need to tread with care.

The nuts aren't toxic but the shells are not digestible and therefore could lead to gut trauma and/or blockage. So, if she is a bit tight in her belly, we need to monitor this closely as we take some supportive steps.

In regards ***** ***** care at this stage, we will want to start her on small meals of bland food (ie cooked rice with boiled chicken/white fish or scrambled egg) for the next few days. Whichever you choose, you consider adding a spoonful of canned pumpkin to the meals. The fiber in the pumpkin will encourage any shell material to move through the GI. As well, cat hairball treatment or a GI lubricant (ie Latulose, Miralax, food grade mineral oil) can also be added to these meals to help these slip through.

While encouraging passage of this material, you do want to keep a close eye on her. Specifically, we need to keep an eye out for any belly tenderness or pain when you press on her stomach, pale gums, straining to pass feces, passing blood in vomit or stools, appetite loss, restlessness, or black feces. If you did see any of these; then those are all red flags of a possible blockage or trauma and would require her to be seen urgently by your vet for an exam +/- xray. And just to note, as the nuts are high in fat, we will need to monitor for pancreatitis signs too (pain just where the ribs end, vomiting, appetite loss).

Overall, we do always have to tread with care in situations like this. So, at this stage and in this situation, we’d want to use the above steps to encourage these shells to pass while we keep a close eye on her. If we can do this for the next 48 hours and see no issue, then we'd suspect we are out of the woods and that she has passed the shell material without bother. Of course, any of the above signs and we'd want to plan to have Zelda seen by her local vet.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.


How is everything going with your wee one?

Dr. B.