Chocolate Poisoning
30th December 2012
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We have seen a 3 cases of chocolate poisoning in the last week here at Clent Hills Vets and with Christmas fast approaching the availability of chocolate for your nosy pets to find and consume is increased! 

Most of us are well aware that chocolate is poisonous if consumed in sufficient quantities to all species; yes sadly that includes us humans too! The reason for this is the inability or speed at which the alkaloid theobramine is broken down (metabolised) by the body. Age will also have a bearing on how the body can cope with metabolising theobromine with older people being much more at risk than a younger person.

With this in mind it may be useful to know that dogs and other domestic pets have a much lower ability to be able to metabolize theobramine and so it builds up in their systems with sometimes fatal consequences. 

Cats have an even lower threshold to toxicity from chocolate than dogs but are not commonly presented for “chocolate ingestion” due to the fact they cannot taste sweet things and so are less attracted to them.

Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate are particularly dangerous as they contain more theobramine.

If you are presented with evidence that your dog has consumed chocolate in any sort of quantity it is advised that you seek veterinary help as soon as possible.

Gather as much information as possible such as wrappers, weight and type of chocolate eaten. Vomiting will often be induced by the veterinary surgeon but this is most effective if achieved within 2 hours of chocolate consumption, so speed is of the essence. Admittance to the surgery will be advised where additional fluid therapy and medical support is necessary.

If left untreated the symptoms of toxicity can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cardiac problems
  • Seizures
  • Death

Do not leave it to chance...hide the chocolate from the dog!!!!

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Clent Hills Vets -

Member since: 15th November 2012

Clent Hills Veterinary Group is a long established veterinary practice that operates from two highly equipped practices that are situated in Bromsgrove and Hagley as well as offering equine care from our...

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