Beware the Easter Egg! The Dangers of Chocolate for our Pets.
Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which can be toxic to your pet. Most problems are seen in dogs as they will eat as much as they can get their paws on, but chocolate can be toxic to your other pets too. If your dog does eat chocolate, please call us at Peel Veterinary Clinic immediately, as urgent treatment may be required.
The degree of chocolate toxicity depends on how much chocolate your dog has eaten and what type of chocolate it was, compared to the size of your dog. Dark chocolates have higher levels of theobromine and are more toxic; milk chocolates have moderate levels of theobromine, and white chocolates have low levels. Generally, the more cocoa solids contained in the chocolate, the more theobromine will bepresent, and the higher the risk of toxicity to your dog.
What can we do?
There is no antidote to chocolate toxicity.Treatment involves making your dog vomit to empty the remaining chocolate from the dog’s stomach. We may give your dog activated charcoal to decrease further absorption of theobromine from the intestine. We may also give your dogintravenous fluids to avoid dehydration and help flush out the toxins. We will also treat any seizures or other symptoms as required.
The sooner we see your dog after eating chocolate, the greater the chance of successful treatment.
We tend to see an increase in cases of chocolate toxicity over the holidays, especially Christmas and Easter, as there is more chocolate in the house and clever dogs seem to find a way of getting to it!