Friday, December 12, 2008

Chocolate & Dogs Don't Mix

Yes, we all know this by now right? Unfortunately that didn't stop me from leaving six dark chocolate truffles within striking distance of Dewey. I completely forgot that they were tucked inside a bag in my purse along with an apricot danish, and Dewey, being the expert scavenger that he is, found them and gobbled them all up (except for the apricot at the center of the danish!). Luckily, I caught him right afterward and was able to rush him over to the shelter vet. They administered hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, but it wasn't effective, so we ran him up to the emergency vet. At the animal hospital they used Apomorphine - an intravenous drug to get the poor feller to throw up, and this time it worked. Once all the chocolate (and danish) was out of his system, he was given activated charcoal. According the vet on duty, he was treated just in time. Although small amounts of chocolate are usually harmless, dark chocolate is particularly dangerous to small pups. Dewey is only ten pounds and the truffles were very concentrated, so he was definitely in jeopardy. Here is more from the ASPCA about the hazards of chocolate for dogs:

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?
Chocolate can contain high amounts of fat and caffeine-like stimulants known as methylxanthines. If ingested in significant amounts, chocolate can potentially produce clinical effects in dogs ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death in severe cases.

Typically, the darker the chocolate, the higher the potential for clinical problems from methylxanthine poisoning. White chocolate has the lowest methylxanthine content, while baking chocolate contains the highest. As little as 20 ounces of milk chocolate—or only two ounces of baking chocolate—can cause serious problems in a 10-pound dog. While white chocolate may not have the same potential as darker forms to cause a methylxanthine poisoning, the high fat content of lighter chocolates could still lead to vomiting and diarrhea, as well as the possible development of life-threatening pancreatitis, an inflammatory condition of the pancreas.

If you have a pooch who ingests chocolate, try to induce vomiting with household hydrogen peroxide (it's good to have a syringe or eye dropper on hand to administer it orally). If your dog will not vomit, seek medical attention ASAP. Even though it will probably be an expensive vet visit, it's way better to be safe than sorry.


b8akaratn said...

Oh my goodness! So glad you acted fast... I hope I'm as good a mom as you are!!

Pet Grooming Tips said...

Chocolates are most commonly given to dogs by pet owners, unknowingly that it could be harmful for their pet. Thanks for suggesting that it shouldn't be given to dogs. Keep writing useful articles.

Best Regards,
Perrie Jinnie