Yes, chocolate is toxic to dogs. Although it is rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion can result in significant illness. Theobromine as well as caffein are toxic chemicals that can be found in chocolate. Both of these chemicals can be used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and caffeine as well as people can. That is why dogs are more sensitive to the chemicals’ effects.
How much chocolate is poisonous to a dog?
Theobromine levels in chocolate vary depending on the variety. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more harmful it is to dogs. Baking chocolate and gourmet dark chocolate are very concentrated and contain 130-450 mg of theobromine per ounce. Milk chocolate has just 44-58 mg/ounce.
With only 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce of chocolate, white chocolate rarely causes chocolate poisoning. Even if the amount consumed is not hazardous, dogs can develop unwell from the fat and sugar in chocolate. In severe situations or in dogs with particularly sensitive stomachs, these can cause pancreatitis. To put this in context, a medium-sized dog weighing 50 pounds would only need to consume 1 ounce of baker’s chocolate or 9 ounces of milk chocolate to show indications of poisoning. Small amounts of milk chocolate are not toxic to many dogs.
CLINICAL SIGNS OF CHOCOLATE POISONING
The clinical indications are determined by the amount and type of chocolate consumed. The most common clinical signs in many dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and a rapid heart rate. Muscle tremors, convulsions, and heart failure can all occur in extreme cases. Complications, such as aspiration pneumonia caused by vomiting, might worsen the prognosis for chocolate poisoning. If a toxic amount of chocolate is consumed, it is best to seek emergency medical attention from your veterinarian.
Chocolate poisoning symptoms can appear several hours later. Due to theobromine’s lengthy half-life, symptoms from massive exposures might continue for days.
This implies it stays in the bloodstream for a longer amount of time. Because theobromine can be reabsorbed from the bladder, intravenous fluids and regular walks to induce urine may be required.
As soon as you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, get immediate treatment by calling your veterinarian.
WHAT TO DO ONCE YOUR DOG CONSUMES CHOCOLATE
Check with your veterinarian to check if a poisonous amount of chocolate was consumed. If a dangerous amount is swallowed, you should get your dog evaluated by a veterinarian right away. The sooner therapy begins, the better your dog’s prognosis.
Treatment is dependent on the amount and type of chocolate consumed. If handled early, decontamination, including triggering vomiting and providing activated charcoal to inhibit theobromine absorption into the body, may be all that is required. Activated charcoal treatments can be repeated to minimize theobromine resorption and recirculation.
To help stabilize a dog and encourage theobromine excretion, supportive treatments such as intravenous hydration therapy are commonly used. Any dog that has consumed a hazardous amount of chocolate should be thoroughly observed for signs of agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiousness, abnormal heart rhythm, and elevated blood pressure. Medication to manage agitation and other symptoms may also be required.
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