Chocolate can be deadly for your Pet!
Never leave chocolates unattended. Chocolate
can be Fatal for your Pet!
For pets, chocolate is a tasty toxin, which causes serious
health problems. It contains a compound called Theobromine, which, like
caffeine, is dangerous to dogs and cats.
ANY kind of chocolate, if given enough of it or even small
amounts regularly, can really harm your dog. Regular intake can cause a lot of not only
terminal but permanent life long and expensive health problems.
If they get a little piece by accident I wouldn't worry
just monitor the dog... it could have allergies as well but just to be clear
any kind of chocolate can kill your dog.
Many times they will seem spastic, very hyper or anxious.
They will seem to be unable to sit still and have a rapid heart beat.
Theobromine affects the nervous system, cardiovascular
system and peripheral nerves. It has a diuretic effect as well.
Increased heart rate
The lethal dose of theobromine, depends on the size of the
dog and the type of chocolate. Ounce for ounce, baking chocolate has six to nine times as
much of the substance as milk chocolate does.
Estimates of the amounts that can be fatal are:
- 4 ounces of milk chocolate or 1/2 ounce of baking
chocolate for small dogs, such as Chihuahuas and toy poodles.
- 8 ounces of milk chocolate or 2 ounces of baking
chocolate for medium-sized dogs, like cocker spaniels and dachshunds.
- 8 ounces of milk chocolate or 4 ounces of baking
chocolate for large dogs,including collies and Labrador retrievers.
Milk chocolate contains 45 mg of Theobromine per ounce and
unsweetened baking chocolate contains 400 mg per ounce. Just one ounce of unsweetened
baking chocolate can kill a small breed dog. Theobromine when ingested by dogs causes
release of epinephrine (adrenaline) which causes the heart to race and serious cardiac
arrhythmias to develop. Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea,
excessive urination, hyperactivity followed by depression and coma, seizures, and death.
As always with diarrhea, keep hydrated!! Pedialite (which
is what babies drink other than water) will help a great deal with diarrhea or vomiting.
It keeps their electrolytes up, which they need to keep healthy otherwise.
Treatment may require inducing vomiting, and administration
of charcoal to reduce absorption of the chocolate remaining in the stomach and intestines.
Drugs to stabilize the heart are needed as well as intravenous fluids and drugs to prevent
Mortality is high and care for these cases is intensive and
expensive, stabilizing the animal's heartbeat and respiration, controlling seizures and
slowing the absorption of Theobromine. If the animal already is comatose, its stomach may
need to be pumped .If you're not sure how much your pet already ate, call your vet
immediately for advice.
Theobromine is also present in cocoa beans, cola, and tea.
Be careful with all the chocolate that is available around
Christmas, Easter and especially Halloween!
As always, its best to seek the advice of a competent
veterinarian if you have any questions about your dogs health.