Hi guys VET TIP
With Christmas fast approaching please remember chocolate can be toxic to dogs and Cats!!
- The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine. Humans easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system.
- A large dog can consume more chocolate than a small dog before suffering ill effects.
- A small amount of chocolate will probably only give your dog an upset stomach with vomiting or diarrhoea.
- With large amounts, theobromine can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or a heart attack. The onset of theobromine poisoning is usually marked by severe hyperactivity.
The usual treatment for theobromine poisoning is to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion. If you are worried or suspect that your dog may have eaten a large quantity of chocolate and they are showing any of the signs listed above, call your veterinarian immediately.
If you have a small dog that has eaten a box of chocolates, you need to call and go to your veterinarian right away. Do not wait.
Different chocolate types have different theobromine levels. Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate contain the highest levels, while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest. If you’re dealing with any quantity of dark or bitter chocolate, err on the side of caution. The high level of theobromine in dark chocolate means it takes only a very small amount to poison a dog. Less than an ounce of dark chocolate may be enough to poison a 44-pound dog.
Do not panic,
- Our own Whippet many years ago eat two full Terry’s chocolate oranges ( solid milk chocolate confectionary the size of an orange) and was totally fine!
- Be sensible mark the calculator mentioned and if your dog ever does eat some chocolate you will know how to evaluate if you need to see your vet etc.
- Remember that ideally, we need to see the pet within a very short period of the chocolate ingestion if we are to empty the stomach before the chocolate is absorbed.
- As always if you are not sure ring and speak to your vet.
BEFORE YOU ASK:
Chocolate can be lethal for cats. Although most cats will not eat it on their own, they can be coaxed to eat it by owners and others who think they are giving the cat a treat. The toxic agent in chocolate as in dogs is is theobromine.