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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
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Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 6lb rabbit recently ate between 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of avocado.

Customer Question

My 6lb rabbit recently ate between 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of avocado. Is this a toxic amount for her weight?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with Luna today.

I do apologize that an expert has not answered you sooner, but different experts do come online at different times. Anyway, I have just come online, read Luna's situation, and wanted to help.


Now as you have appreciated, avocados are toxic to animals. That said, the skin, leaves, and seed are the most toxic parts; so if she has only had 1.5 tbsp of the flesh, then this would be lower in toxicity then the other parts of the avocado. Now to make this more of a challenge, different avocado species will have different toxicity levels due to its Persin (the toxin) content For example the the Nabal or Guatemalan strains can hold enough toxin to be fatal, but the Mexican strain tend not to cause adverse issues for rabbits. So, it will not just depend on what portion of the avocado she has had but also the strain of avocado it was.


In regards XXXXX XXXXX we associate with avocado toxicity and what you do want to watch out for, the big issues we can see are weakness, depression, going off her food,respiratory distress, heart beat abnormalites (as the fluid can accumulate around the heart) and then fatalities.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX lethal dose for Persin, studies have shown that the fatal heart signs arise when the animal has had over >100 mg/kg of the purified avocado toxin (>272 mg for her body weight). Now obviously without know which avocado strain this was from and taking it into the lab to determine how much Persin is present in this avocado, we might struggle to pinpoint the exact level of exposure. That said, we know that the avocado isn't pure toxin and a tablespoon is 15 grams. So, by your dose rate there, she has had no more then 30 grams of avocado. And if that is the case, her Persin exposure will be less then that and in either case less then the toxicity level. Therefore, this dose she has had is unlikely to cause fatal toxicity for her.


That said, if she has just had it recently, you may want to cover your bases and treat her with activated charcoal (since rabbits cannot be induced to vomit or even vomit on their own). You can read more about this binding agent and how to administer it HERE. (the dosing would be the same for rabbits as other domestic pets) Furthermore, do make sure she continues to have access to lots of roughage (hay) to just keep pushing things through and preventing any associated GI slowing.


Overall, it sounds like Luna has given you a scare but do know that the dose she has had was very small. Therefore, we do need to monitor her and consider activated charcoal to mop any remaining Persin but overall we are not likely to see this have severe effects for her.




I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. B.


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