Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

Discussion in 'Labrador health' started by Lochan, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Lochan

    Lochan Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    As it's coming up to that time of year when we all have lots of Christmas chocolate around the house, and bearing in mind one of my own dogs attempted to kill herself last year with chocolate, I thought I would post this weeks update on chocolate poisoning in dogs from the Veterinary Poisoning Information Service based in the UK.

    Out of 1000 cases known to have eaten chocolate and for which they had follow up, approximately half the cases had no symptoms. 5 dogs died. The rest had various signs of poisoning from vomiting, abdominal pain, pancreatitis, twitching, heart problems and seizures. Toxic effects are directly related to the amount of theobromine in the chocolate. For white chocolate there is no problem and treatment is not required. Toxic effects will start at doses of 20mg theobromine per kg bodyweight, severe effects from 40-50 mg/kg and seizures from 60mg/kg.

    The VPIS have helpfully equated this theobromine dose to grammes of chocolate eaten and it pans out that veterinary treatment is likely to be required if they eat dark chocolate at doses over 3.5g per kg bodyweight, and milk chocolate doses over 14g chocolate per kg bodyweight. One of mine (Lochan) last year ate 600g of dark chocolate - some 24g/kg - and had pretty severe signs of poisoning for which urgent care was required.

    Hope this is helpful and our dogs do nothing silly with chocolate over the festive season!
     
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  2. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thank you!

    We had an Easter scare but luckily nothing bad came of it!
     
  3. Debs

    Debs Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thank you, very interesting and helpful.
     
  4. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thanks, Lochan.
     
  5. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thanks for the reminder :D
     
  6. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Such a worry - and SO surprising how many dog owners aren't aware of this, still!
    Your tummy must do flips every time you think of this. Poor Lochan.
     
  7. David

    David Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Very helpful. Thank you.
     
  8. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thanks for the information.
     
  9. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    It's nice to have some quantitative information. We're not into chocolate so there won't be any laying around here and have a zero-tolerance policy with the dogs with chocolate and grapes, but it's something to keep in mind when we visit friends *just in case*.

    I do think it's worrying how many people still don't know that chocolate is dangerous to dogs.
     
  10. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thank you, very timely reminder.
     
  11. Jen

    Jen Registered Users

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thank you Lochan very interesting and useful information to know.
     
  12. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    Thank you very much Lochan, I will be sure to pass this onto HATTIE!! xx
     
  13. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    [quote author=charlie link=topic=9037.msg129393#msg129393 date=1418201287]
    Thank you very much Lochan, I will be sure to pass this onto HATTIE!! xx
    [/quote]
    :D

    I remember Lochan shared this Chocolate Toxicity Calculator previously
    I thought it pretty useful.
     
  14. npcarpenter

    npcarpenter Registered Users

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    Re: Chocolate poisoning in dogs - when to seek urgent veterinary help

    I had several episodes of risky chocolate consumption before I was able to convince my hubby that he COULD NOT LEAVE CHOCOLATE laying around! Having seen the effects first hand many years earlier, I was always careful, BUT... we'd been recently married and he was totally ignorant about most dog behaviors (horses don't like chocolate, so he never had to deal with it... ???) I caught the chocolate theft early enough that I was able to induce vomiting before much got absorbed. Not knowing which of two large dogs had eaten the bag of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses (foil and all!), they both got got hauled into the barn, where I administered about 60 mls of hydrogen peroxide down their throats. Upchucking began almost immediately and it became very clear which dog was guilty. Molly, the Lab, was the culprit, and Dante, the Lab/Husky mix was an innocent bystander (poor guy!). It happened just once more, nearly causing divorce, and the message finally got through! I still keep a large bottle of H2O2 in the cupboard, along with a large animal dose syringe, just in case...
     
  15. mcatalao

    mcatalao Registered Users

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    Beating a dead horse but that calculator link is down... :/

    We like Chocolate at home, we have 2 sugar and choc addict kids (Well, not that much, but still...), but we talked to them and they've been really careful. If you have kids try to explain chocolate is bad to your dog.

    On a site note, there are a lot of stuff that we eat and dogs can't. Like onions or some types of almonds... Our vet says in doubt, jus stick to kibble and dog treats. Or if you're into making your own dog's food, rice and several meat types (rice cooked without olive oil, and no onion!) with some kibble for vitamins. And keep the chocolate away!
     
  16. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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  17. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    What is supposed to be the problem with olive oil, mcatalao? Olive oil is fine for dogs. They can live without the rice though.
     
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  18. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    My big, burly male Vet was nearly in tears one January as he asked if I (new client with him) was aware dogs should not eat chocolate. He'd failed to save a client's large hound after it ate, the owners swore, only a few pieces of dark Christmas chocolates.

    Another bad food is grapes and raisins. We used to take grapes with us to the nursing home and my aunt and the other residents got such a kick out of seeing our dog eat them and feeding them to her themselves. Our Lab never had one little bit of a problem but she didn't get very many. And maybe we were lucky.

    Yes, @mcatalao what is wrong with olive oil? Our Vet prefers dogs to be fed a raw food diet, BARF, and there are many, many foods other than kibble that we can both eat. Yech, I actually tried kale when buying it for the dog once, I think we will both do without that bitter stuff.
     
  19. mcatalao

    mcatalao Registered Users

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    Hi, Snowshoe and Oberon.
    I don't really know! But Wuki was with some diarrhea and she told us to make rice with chicken breast and said they couldn't have olive oil and no onions (onions i knew before, but olive oil is really odd). I'll ask her next Sturday. ;)
     
  20. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Let us know what she says :)
     

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