Look out for Chocolate


In general, Veterinarians are seeing MORE chocolate toxicities, due to our increased desire to consume ‘healthier’dark chocolate- BUT your pet only needs to consume 1/3 as much dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate to become seriously ill.

WHAT you NEED to know

1. The TOXIC and potentially FATAL dose of chocolate is 60mg/kg- so a 10lb dog only needs to consume 300mg of chocolate.

Clinical Signs can be seen as low as
20mg/kg- meaning our little 10lb dog only needs to consume 100mg to have problems.

Severe signs are seen at 40mg/kg-
or consuming 200mg of chocolate.

2. The Toxic components are theobromine
and caffeine- although the theobromine
is the BIGGEST toxin.

3. Here are some relative amounts of

Milk chocolate bar ( 5oz) -250mg theobromine
Dark chocolate bar ( 70% cocoa) – 600mg theobromine
Unsweetened Baking chocolate (per square) – 400mg theobromine Semisweet Chocolate Chips ( per 30 chips) – 250mg theobromine
Instant Cocoa Powder ( per ounce) – 150mg theobromine
Dry Cocoa Powder ( per ounce) – 700mg theobromine

4. Here are some of the clinical signs-
they occur 6-12 hours after ingestion.

Increased Drinking
Increased Urinating

Progressing Signs:
Elevated Heart Rate/arrythmia
Cyanosis ( bluish gums)
Elevated blood pressure
Increased resiprations

5. What to do

– IF your dog/cat consumes 20mg/kg of
theobromine or higher, then induce vomiting:

PURGE THE POISON. In most cases of poisoning, getting your pet to vomit is the most important thing that you can do. To induce vomiting, give hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. If your pet doesn’t vomit in 10 minutes, repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments of peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of water per every 10lbs of body weight.

DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily available at most pharmacies. It delays absorption of any toxin by binding to the toxic compound in the stomach. The easiest way is to give the capsule form. For those garbage-eating dogs (such as my own dog) it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal always on hand.

-IF your dog is showing ANY of the clinical signs, such as vomiting, increased drinking, bloating and tremors, then see your Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

-IF you are UNABLE to induce vomiting, SEE your Vet ASAP.

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