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Halloween Alert!
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 much… 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.

Clinical Signs:
Hyper excitability
Hyper irritability
Increased heart rate
Increased urination
Muscle tremors

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 shock.

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, it’s best to seek the advice of a competent veterinarian if you have any questions about your dog’s health.


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