limes and gogs

One of the questions that come up all the time is whether dogs can eat limes. While the taste is bitter and might not even appeal to your dog’s palette, there’s an off chance lime could find itself in your canine’s menu. If this ever happens, it’s important to understand the kind of problem this presents.

Lime fruit contains such essential oils as linalool and psoralens among other phototoxic compounds. A little amount of lime might not be a huge threat to your pet dog but it can bring about gastrointestinal disturbance. If the dog consumes larger lime quantities or even lime trees themselves in whatever form it could bring about severe upset.

Lime trees or Citrus aurantifolia from the Rutaceae family are toxic to horses, cats, and dogs according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The Society actually names psolarens and essential oils as the toxic principles to watch out for. Those fortunate enough to have lime trees anywhere in their garden where their dogs spend most of the time should take a number of steps to ensure dogs and even cats don’t get into contact with the tree.

Toxic lime levels in dogs

Toxic lime levelsWhere the dog has consumed small amounts of lime it’s expected that the upset will be minor and the canine will be fine within a short while. You can observe the dog and see if any or combinations of the following symptoms are observable. These include weakness, cold limbs, vomiting, collapse, tremors, diarrhea, skin irritation or rash, excessive drooling, photosensitivity, lethargy, low blood pressure, liver failure or loss of proper coordination.

Lime consumption can be serious in a dog and sudden death could also result. At the start, the dog will probably vomit first, followed by diarrhea and will show lack of stamina and waning energy. The dog will not be his normal self and appear as if under the elements and weather. The energy and enthusiasm the dog shows at the sight of a leash or game of fetch might not be there, which should be clear something is not right.

Large consumption of lime require vet attention right away before the toxicity has become a huge problem wherever you can. The vet could save the dog’s life and severe upsets by administering a treatment that allows the dog to repel the consumed lime and lowering the efficacy of the toxicity before it’s a huge matter in the dog’s body.

Diagnoses of lime poisoning in your dog

Diagnoses of lime poisoning


Once you find the dog consuming lime, noting the symptoms and signs could be enough to help the vet make a diagnosis right from the start. Various questions will be asked by the vet to help arrive at the perfect treatment plan effective in altering the precarious situation. Note that you could be asked the amount of lime ingested and how long ago that happened. The vet will also ask the lime consumed by your dog. Sometimes the symptoms could be observed without actually having witnessed or seeing the dog consume lime or any of its products. In such a case, the toxin could be investigated further through blood chemistry profiling or urinalysis.

Sometimes a comprehensive blood count might be requested to ascertain the real distress causing toxin in the dog. The dog’s stool, vomit or skin interaction will be looked into to ascertain any toxin even as the vet will check the coordination and reflexes of the pet. At the end of the day, all these diagnostics will help pinpoint precisely what the problem is, toxin involved, areas around the nervous system affected and the best treatment in such a case.

Treatment of Lemon and Lime Poisoning

Sick dog facing camera on white background

Sick Dog

Once you’ve realized some parts of the pet dog have been exposed to lime or any of its products wash the exposed area using clean water and mild soap. Be careful with the dog shampoo you use to remove the lime effect on the dog; linalool and limonene compounds are usually some of its ingredients and could worsen the problem. Water and mild soap will do just fine. Induced vomiting isn’t advisable as breathing lime oil or any of its products into the lungs of your dog could be fatal. The vet could perform gastric irrigation for the physical removal of digestive system lime toxins as much as possible.

Lime poisoning prognosis is usually encouraging as the symptoms don’t last for long. The only problem is that if the dog actually ingested lime essential oils the outcome could be dire. If the dog goes through gastric lavage and anesthesia is administered its possible confusion and coordination problems will be manifested until all the sedatives within the dog’s system has completely cleared.

Lime poisoning comes with photo-toxicity in certain cases and sheltering the dog from sunlight as requested by the vet or 48 hours once the treatment has been administered can help in the prevention of skin reactions. In severe cases, the vet could recommend the dog’s blood chemistry profiles be regularly monitored after lime poisoning to ensure kidney or liver impairment doesn’t occur.

According to ASPCA, any suspected ingestion of lime or any lime product, a potentially toxic substance, should be reported to a local vet immediately. It might be the call that saves your precious dog.

Written by anemane