Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    City Island, Bronx, NY
    Posts
    37,833

    Default AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    In an effort to determine the safety of feeding avocado to squirrels -- and what parts of the plant ARE safe for squirrels -- I've begun this thread. From a paper by Julia F. Morton, Perdue University Horticulture Dept; 1987 (highlights added by me):

    Toxicity
    Unripe avocados are said to be toxic. Two resins derived from the skin of the fruit are toxic to guinea pigs by subcutaneous and peritoneal injection. Dopamine has been found in the leaves. The leaf oil contains methyl chavicol. Not all varieties are equally toxic. Rabbits fed on leaves of 'Fuerte' and 'Nabal' died within 24 hours. Those fed on leaves of 'Mexicola' showed no adverse reactions. Ingestion of avocado leaves and/or bark has caused mastitis in cattle, horses, rabbits and goats. Large doses have been fatal to goats. Craigmill et al. at Davis, California, have confirmed deleterious effects on lactating goats which were allowed to graze on leaves of 'Anaheim' avocado an hour each day for 2 days. Milk was curdled and not milkable, the animals ground their teeth, necks were swollen and they coughed, but the animals would still accept the leaves on the 4th day of the experiment. By the 10th day, all but one goat were on the road to recovery. All abnormal signs had disappeared 20 days later. In another test, leaves of a Guatemalan variety were stored for 2 weeks in plastic bags and then given to 2 Nubian goats in addition to regular feed over a period of 2 days. Both suffered mastitis for 48 hours. Avocado leaves in a pool have killed the fish. Canaries have died from eating the ripe fruit. The seeds, ground and mixed with cheese or cornmeal, have been used to poison rodents. However, tests in Hawaii did not show any ill effect on a mouse even at the rate of 1/4 oz (7 g) per each 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight, though the mouse refused to eat the dried, grated seed material until it was blended with cornmeal. Avocado seed extracts injected into guinea pigs have caused only a few days of hyperexcitability and anorexia. At Davis, mice given 10 to 14 g of half-and-half normal ration and either fresh or dried avocado seed died in 2 or 3 days, though one mouse given 4 times the dose of the others survived for 2 weeks.
    The seed contains 13.6% tannin, 13.25% starch. Amino acids in the seed oil are reported as: capric acid, 0.6; myristic, 1.7; X, 13.5; palmitic, 23.4; X, 10.4; stearic, 8.7; oleic, 15.1; linoleic, 24.1; linolenic, 2.5%. The dried seed contains 1.33% of a yellow wax containing sterol and organic acid. The seed and the roots contain an antibiotic which prevents bacterial spoilage of food. It is the subject of two United States patents.
    The bark contains 3.5% of an essential oil which has an anise odor and is made up largely of methyl chavicol with a little anethole.


    According to this, it appears the leaves and seeds are the toxic parts to rodents, under these experimental conditions. For the entire article, go here: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/avocado_ars.html
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NA
    Posts
    23,491

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    tinfoil hey...didn't say we need to feed our sqs what we have always been told was toxic...that would be silly...just sharing that I have seen sqs eat part of a pit and skin and with NO serious ill effects!

    Avacodo trees are all over my area, and under every tree is the residual evidence of sqs!...no sq corpses, just half eaten evidence!

    I know...I am not a rehabber and will squash my opinion...sorry!
    but will stand on what I have seen.

  3. Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Jackie... as I stated to you privately I would have questioned the statement no matter WHO made it. No vendetta here.

    We ALL, everyone one of us, myself included must be very careful not to present our anecdotal experiences and opinions as facts. That's all I was saying. It can be toxic especially to those who are sensitive. You never know who will be sensitive so it's best treated as toxic.

    Trust me when I say I've been called on stating my opinion as fact many times over the years. This is why I take pains to make sure that I don't do that. I always say... "in my experience" or "in my opinion" or "I believe based on what I've seen".

    Again, I would have questioned that statement coming from anyone. I've been told and told and told not only here but on other lists that you should be very careful about the pits and skins.

    Remember too that wild squirrels are more discriminating about what they eat and in what amounts. Our captives are locked in the cage with the food and may eat things in amounts they shouldn't.

  4. #4

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Avocado seed extracts injected into guinea pigs have caused only a few days of hyperexcitability and anorexia.

    OOOOH, I could use about 6 months of this.

    Sorry, I know this was supposed to be serious, but I am.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    City Island, Bronx, NY
    Posts
    37,833

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Squirrelly
    Avocado seed extracts injected into guinea pigs have caused only a few days of hyperexcitability and anorexia.

    OOOOH, I could use about 6 months of this.
    Love it, LS -- me too!! Where do we get the shots?

    Be calm, everyone....it appears to me that unless you go to great lengths to force this stuff into rodents, it is not harmful.

    And I WAS trying to present academic information on the subject, which is what was requested, right?
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."


  6. Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Yep and it's appreciated.

    You have to try to understand.. it's like placing a baby on it's back to sleep. When I brought my kid home from the hospital over 20 yrs ago you could be arrested for putting a new born to sleep on her back. I mean after all they could vomit and choke. NOW you will get arrested if you put your infant to sleep on her tummy. Old folks like me question this crap. I must say if you adamantly tell me something for decades and then change it (I still think it's terribly dangerous to put infants to sleep on their backs) you must provide me with some serious information to the contrary.

    So.. after being told for as long as I can remember that there is an issue with avocado it came as a surprise to me that it was being said there wasn't. I just wanted to know why that thinking changed. I really wasn't trying to be contradictory or difficult.

    Of course I will do further research myself and I will continue to peel avocado for the girls, scooby and my ratties. I'm of the better safe than sorry mindset. Jake however can still eat chocolate. Seems rats can have the stuff with no problem! LOL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    North Central Arkansas
    Posts
    835

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Even if the skins arent toxic they may have been sprayed with a pesticide. Stacey

  8. #8

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    I have pretty much decided to avoid avocado for a couple of reasons. I'd only read about it being a god food for squirrels and had no trouble with my first two squirrels eating it, but Edith died within about 12 hours of eating some avacado off the peel. I'd left it out on the counter after scooping out some for my suggies, and I didn't think anything of it when she grabbed it up and ate from it. It was starting to turn so I threw it away after she got done with it. I did not notice her eating any of the peel. When everything went wrong the next morning, the avocado never crossed my mind until later when I read something else about possible toxins in avocado. I will never know if that is what killed her, but if I could go back in time and not let her have the avocado, you bet your boots I would.

    Weezie doesn't care for it and I end up throwing away more than I use, so I have decided that I will leave it out of my squirrels diet. We don't have any avocado trees in my area, so its not something they will encounter after release.

    This is just my experience and Edith's death is strickly speculation, but my gut tells me it is a huge possibility of being a cause of her death.

  9. #9

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Wow, alot of good info, but what about the acorns, is it true only when they are green? How should we be storing our nuts, and should we be cracking them open to check for mold?
    <3 my "punkin"<3

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    a small speed-bump in southeast Texas
    Posts
    3,522

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    As far as acorns go, this is my experience with them. I gather them every year, in all stages of ripeness, from green to brown. I rinse them off, dry them, put them in plastic bags, and put them in the freezer. I try to get enough to last the whole year, when I do it all over again! I feed them straight from the freezer - kind of like 'acornsicles' - and the squirrels love them. I feed them to all the squirrels - flyers, greys, foxers - beginning as soon as they are old enough to eat solid foods. I have NEVER had any problems from the acorns, other than the squirrels getting mad when my stock was running low and they didn't get as many as they wanted.

    I collect acorns wherever I can find them - my yard, woods near here, college campuses, churches, shopping centers, etc. In the shopping centers the acorns often fall into the gutter, and I take a broom and dust pan and sweep them up and dump them all in a couple of big bags. Then, when I get home, I sort, wash, dry, and freeze them.

    muffinsquirrel
    The Southeast Texas Acorn Academy

    Already we have hickory nuts, black walnuts, pecan nuts, peanuts, hazel nuts, oak nuts, beech nuts, chestnuts.......and now you're here!


    http://www.nfsa.us/phpBB2/index.php

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Orange Park, FL
    Posts
    4,053

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    I used to try and ripen avocados on the kitchen counter, don't do it now as the squirrels would find them, bite off the skin and eat them up--green!
    Since the trees will grow here in Florida, I would try and sprout the seeds in various water containers, don't do that any more as the squirrels totally destroyed the seeds--chewed them into tiny bits. Never, had a squirrel get sick doing havoc to avocado! Just got tired of cleaning up the mess and having lost every seed! When I lived in S. FL I had a huge avocado tree in the yard, it was heavily "squirreled" every year- no sick squirrels or dead bodies in the yard. It maybe that an individual squirrel could have an allergy to avocado. Jackie certainly had a bad result with feeding Sarah eggplant!
    Then Chucky with the acorns. Some people are allergic to strawberries, me-I love'em. I am allergic to cow's milk, but all most all human babies are raised on it.

    If your squirrel has a problem with any food or substance, keep it from them!

    But as for avocados being bad for squirrels-not in my book or experience.
    Anne
    Wildlife and Squirrel Rescue,Inc.
    Rescuing Fl squirrels since 1979
    Moderator: NFSA Emergency Care
    Wildlife Intake Coordinator and Rehab Consultant at "The Ark Wildlife Care and Sanctuary Inc"

    Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but learning to how to dance in the rain"

    "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    "Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear." - Mark Twain

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NA
    Posts
    23,491

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    yep, eggplant and sarah do not get along, she is sensitive. eggplant i believe is part of the deadly nightshade family, and that is poison for most anything!
    also.....raw chestnuts, 4 got very sick from them, two recouped in less than a week, frisco passed away after one hell of a struggle, and sammy was left with permanent damage to the lungs. several vets worked with this issue and we all can only guess micoplasma, aspergilliosis or aflatoxins...
    so no chestnuts or eggplant ever again for these guys!
    but bring on the avacodos!



    rest in peace sweet frisco, we love you honey boy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Orange Park, FL
    Posts
    4,053

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Yep, we all love avocado! Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family if I remember correctly. I love old wives tales---NOT! For decades people wouldn't touch tomatoes thinking they were poisonous. One of my grandmothers favorite stories was about WWII soldiers that stayed with us during the war and that they were horrified that she put corn on the cob on the table. They thought corn was only an animal feed!tinfoil But boy did they love it after trying some. When I was in England in the 60's the only corn I saw offered as food was a pickled salad thing, that to me was dreadful. Funny what people will believe isn't it
    Anne
    Wildlife and Squirrel Rescue,Inc.
    Rescuing Fl squirrels since 1979
    Moderator: NFSA Emergency Care
    Wildlife Intake Coordinator and Rehab Consultant at "The Ark Wildlife Care and Sanctuary Inc"

    Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but learning to how to dance in the rain"

    "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    "Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear." - Mark Twain

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NA
    Posts
    23,491

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Hi Anne, Chaz, sqs and coonies!
    I have been major thread jacket member today.
    Too hot to go outside...I am going to let the outsiders in soon...
    I have the mist'ers and fans going out there and you know I am under a huge canopy with nothing but shade...
    not a breeze to be found...rrrr...
    I think it's coming, the monster we call SUMMMER!ugh
    Daydreaming of your swimming pool and a coke with an umbrella...tea toodler that I am!
    on a big raft...
    with my thin'est jammies on!
    wouldn't want my bird legs mistaken as pool noodle doodles, ha!

    so yes I am jealous!
    I need pool....will work for pool....
    having a pool on the brain day...
    H2o wishes...
    and water fantasies....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Orange Park, FL
    Posts
    4,053

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Can't wait for the doctor to let me in that pool either Had one of our FL tourist terrorizer rains here this late afternoon. Lost electricity for awhile, auto repair called and told me they couldn't finish truck today because of power loss===bummer Keeping to thread, no avocado shopping until tomorrow
    Anne
    Wildlife and Squirrel Rescue,Inc.
    Rescuing Fl squirrels since 1979
    Moderator: NFSA Emergency Care
    Wildlife Intake Coordinator and Rehab Consultant at "The Ark Wildlife Care and Sanctuary Inc"

    Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but learning to how to dance in the rain"

    "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    "Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear." - Mark Twain

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    City Island, Bronx, NY
    Posts
    37,833

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    I gather them every year, in all stages of ripeness, from green to brown. I rinse them off, dry them, put them in plastic bags, and put them in the freezer. I try to get enough to last the whole year, when I do it all over again! I feed them straight from the freezer - kind of like 'acornsicles' - and the squirrels love them
    muffinsquirrel, bless you!! I'd forgotten that I'd frozen a big bag full of acorns last year when my cousin's yard had thousands of them....my kids are enjoying their acornsicles right now!
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NA
    Posts
    23,491

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber
    muffinsquirrel, bless you!! I'd forgotten that I'd frozen a big bag full of acorns last year when my cousin's yard had thousands of them....my kids are enjoying their acornsicles right now!
    ...you've struck cold gold!

  18. #18
    mugzeezma Guest

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessicalyn
    Wow, alot of good info, but what about the acorns, is it true only when they are green? How should we be storing our nuts, and should we be cracking them open to check for mold?
    I lived with walnut trees and pecan trees all over my yard and never saw a ripe nut. The birds and squirrels would strip the branches clean the day they say the nuts ripen. The noise was incredible.
    Think about this too, by the time the freezing weather ends there are buds on the trees. Squirrels have cached nuts froze or were in cold storage because of weather. The nuts have either rotted or germinated by spring which incidentally brings on another food source buds! Summer brings forth more food items.
    We have our captive animals in an unnatural disadvantage where they cannot pick and choose what is good.
    They will eat what they get.
    They maybe wild born but they don't have the choices

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Cradle of Liberty
    Posts
    7,610

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    I have one little guy who insists on having a piece of avocado. He comes in my window, I offer him nuts, he whips his head up and to the side and then sniffs my wrist and looks past me to see where I've got it. He will not cut it out until I give him a piece.

    Most of them love it. One or two don't want it. No bad reactions here that I know of. The squirrels further down on the totem pole will meticulously clean every bit from the peel that has been discarded onto the ground by the senior squirrels. I buy them at Trader Joe's for about 80 cents each.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Orange Park Florida
    Posts
    1,730

    Default Re: AVOCADO: Toxic or not?

    Hey Jackie....I will leave it up to you to pass the memo on to Tessa and Brenna that avocados are bad for them. Avocados were by FAR their favorite thing. I have been carefully reading what everyone has posted about them and honestly, I can't see me NOT offering them to any babies in the future. I just haven't seen or read compelling enough evidence that would convince me that they are harmful. I am only talking about the fruit, not the skin or peel, which I never offered them anyway. I did, however, see where some of the skins that were in the garbage ended up in the road (we have the crappiest garbage collectors EVER here in my town) and the wilds would literally fight each other over them. I think it was suggested that wilds would not choose to eat them but that captive babies only eat them due to lack of variety and the inability to choose their own diet. So I guess what I am saying is that I am not convinced they are harmful. Just my two cents worth.

    lizharrell1

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •