Chocolate Poisoning for Dogs is REAL!

April 29, 2009

Ok, we have all heard that your dog’s should not eat chocolate and all that. I will admit I have always though all that was being a little melodramatic and over the top. Guess what, it is NOT! 

A VERY dear friend called me and told me that her dogs had eaten some super all natural chocolate and were deathly ill at the vet. It was this fancy, really good (I have had some) chocolate that was almost pure cocao and their hearts were racing and they were sick. Of course, she rushed them to the vet and they are there now. 

Her “Team” of helpers rushed in and the animal communicator said they are resting better and doing well now, but last night it was touch and go. Everyone is sending hugs, love, prayers and lotsa Reiki. Here is some info I found to share with you on this…

The truth is chocolate contains theobromine that is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities. This is a xanthine compound in the same family of caffeine, and theophylline. That is why their hearts race and they can actualy die of heart failure!

The good news is that it usually takes a LOT of theobromine (100-150 mg/kg) to cause a toxic reaction. Plus, there are variables to consider like each dogs’ sensitivity, their size and chocolate concentration. The poor Frenchie has it all against him…small, very intense chocolate and already a sensitive guy. Her big dog….serious, but not so much. 

On average,

Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.

Semisweet chocolate contains 150mg/oz.

Baker’s chocolate 390mg/oz.

Pure Healthy/Specialty chocolate even more!

Using a dose of 100 mg/kg as the toxic dose it comes out roughly as:

1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight for Milk chocolate

1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for Semisweet chocolate

1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for Baker’s chocolate.

So, for example, 2 oz. of Baker’s chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems.

Clinical Signs

Xanthines affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves. It has a diuretic effect as well. Clinical signs:

Hyper excitability

Hyper irritability

Increased heart rate

Restlessness

Increased urination

Muscle tremors

Vomiting

Diarrhea

There is no real cure or antidote for chocolate poisoning. And the half life of what makes them so sick is 16-18 hours in dogs. Induce vomiting immediately if you do not know how much they ate and CALL THE VET. 

GO TO THE VET, where they canaAdminister activated charcoal, which may stop or slow down absorption of the toxin. An anticonvulsant might be needed, your vet will be able to determine that. Oxygen therapy, intravenous medications, and fluids might be needed to protect the heart. YES, this is a big deal!

Milk chocolate will often cause diarrhea 12-24 hours after ingestion. This would be if your Frenchie ate a bag of M & M’s or a Hershey’s bar.

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your Vet immediately! Do not Google anything until after you get home…just get to the vet ASAP.

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