Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dog Lovin' - My Dog Ate Chocolate!

Dog eating chocolate bar

Lily gave me quite a scare this past weekend when I discovered she had eaten almost an entire chocolate bar!  I had left it on my desk and forgot to shut the door.  My husband rushed her to the vet where they had to induce vomiting and give her fluids.  I was so relieved when she was ok!

Chocolate is toxic due to a class of naturally-occurring alkaloid molecules called methylxanthine containing theobromine, which is similar to caffeine.  It is toxic to dogs and other animals because their bodies take a lot longer to digest it than we do.

Here are some important facts to know:

  • Early signs of Theobromine poisoning include: hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, & incontinence.
  • Advanced stages of poisoning include abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death. 
  • Dark chocolate and Baker's chocolate (approx 10g/kg) are more toxic than milk chocolate (approx 1-5 g/kg).
  • Higher quality chocolates are more toxic than lower quality as they contain more Theobromine.

DO NOT WAIT to take your dog to the vet if they ingest chocolate!  They may seem ok initially as symptoms can be slow to develop.  There is little the vet can do to help if you wait until symptoms reach the advanced stages.  Here are some great links to read more about chocolate poisoning in dogs:

Happy Dog Lovin'!

Image via:  Pee Whiz & Pet MD

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