Chocolate toxicity in dogs

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As Easter is fast approaching, so too is the risk of your beloved canine companion being a poison victim after getting into some delicious chocolate left hidden by the notorious Easter Bunny. Chocolate is very toxic to dogs, and can even be fatal if ingested in large quantities.

The amount and type of chocolate consumed are very important determining factors for the severity of the signs your pet will display. Cooking and dark chocolate are the most toxic to our pets, with even 2 small squares of chocolate having the potential to cause issues in a 10kg dog. The most common symptoms observed are vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness and excessive panting. If treatment is not administered in a timely manner, your pet may even rapidly progress into seizures, heart failure and/or a coma.

If you suspect that your dog may have eaten chocolate, call us immediately. With the aid of a chocolate toxicity calculator, we will be able to make an assessment of what signs your pet is likely to exhibit (if any), and whether they require immediate veterinary attention. If your pet has ingested a toxic dose, they will be made to vomit in an attempt to rid their stomach of the chocolate before it gets digested. If the chocolate has already passed through their stomach, activated charcoal will be administered to try and absorb the toxin as it passes through the intestines, and your pet will be placed on IV fluids to try and flush the toxin from your pet’s bloodstream.

However, as is the case with all poisonings, the most important thing to remember is to keep the chocolate hidden away from your nosey pets in a safe and secure place. Otherwise, the potentially better (and tastier!) option may be to just eat it all in the one sitting – NO chocolate stored in the house means NO sick dogs!!

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