- Posted October 5, 2013 by
What You Should Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate
I’m a big fan of chocolate recipes and i make food with chocolates almost everyday. And I fear that my dogs would try to eat my chocolates when i’m not looking. If these things happen, here’s what we should do.
If a dog eats chocolate, immediate induction of vomiting is the best. This can only be done within the first two hours of ingestion. Vomiting can be induced by putting a small amount of vanilla ice cream in a bowl (for taste!) mixed with hydrogen peroxide (amount depends on the weight of the dog) and a teaspoon of salt.
Whatever you do, DO NOT induce vomiting with salt water. You will induce salt toxicity instead of vomiting and can cause seizures.
Save a sample of the vomit, for analysis, and take both the dog and the sample to the veterinarian immediately.
If, on the other hand, your dog is having a seizure, DO NOT attempt to induce vomiting.
Call your veterinarian immediately for advice, before bringing him in to the clinic.
If a combination of chocolate ingestion, vomiting, nervousness, or weakness are seen, take your dog to your vet immediately and again, if possible, bring a sample of the vomit with you for analysis, since this may aid in rapid identification of the toxic substance.
Your veterenarian will examine your dog's nervous system and cardiac function. He may want to test the blood and urine for concentrations of sugar(glucose) and the active ingredient in the chocolate.
This type of poisoning progresses rapidly and symptoms may need to be treated symptomatically until a laboratory diagnosis is confirmed.
There is no antidote for chocolate poisoning.
Your veterinarian may use drugs to induce vomiting if the chocolate was consumed within the previous 2 - 4 hours. He may also use a stomach tube and fluids to flush the stomach of the chocolate, followed by an activated charcoal treatment, to prevent any of the drugs from being absorbed into the system.
In dogs with advanced symptoms, specialized medications are needed to control the seizures and to correct the rapid and weak heartbeat in order to prevent heart failure.
The expected course of chocolate poisoning is 12 to 36 hours depending on the dosage and effectiveness of treatment. Prognosis is good if the chocolate is removed within 2 to 4 hours of ingestion. Prognosis is guarded in animals with advanced signs such as seizures and serious heart dysfunction.
The ASPCA, Susan Thorpe-Vargas, M.S, Ph.D. in her article "Poisoned," strongly encourages pet owners to be prepared for a poisoning.
When time can make the difference between life and death, it is important that you know the immediate steps to take and have the first-aid tools on hand to take those steps.
To be prepared, get knowledgeable. You'll avoid panic if you have educated yourself. Keep your vet's phone number handy. Keep the phone number close to the phone at home and enter your vet's phone number into your cell phone.
Last, but not least, keep the chocolate up high, in locked cupboards, away from your dog. If you leave it lying around within reach, you are tempting even the best trained dog.
What You Should Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate by Owen Jones, June 2010