Pet poison of the week – Chocolate

PET POISON OF THE WEEK – CHOCOLATE
Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally mild to severe
Common signs to watch for:
• Hyperactivity
• Restlessness
• Vomiting
• Elevated heart rate
• Hypertension (elevated blood pressure)
• Abnormal heart rhythms
• Tremors
• Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
• Seizures
• Collapse
• Death
While the occasional chocolate chip within one cookie may not be an issue, we worry about certain types of chocolate – the less sweet and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your dog. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. Other sources include chewable, flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. The chemical toxicity is due to a methylxanthine (like theobromine and caffeine), and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, inflammation of the pancreas (i.e., pancreatitis), an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and rarely, even death. Dogs make up 95% of all our chocolate calls, as cats are usually too discriminating to eat chocolate! In smaller dogs, even the wrappers from candy can result in a secondary obstruction in the stomach or intestines.
Poison type: Foods
Alternate names: chocolate-covered espresso beans, milk chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa mulch, cocoa hull, caffeine, theobromine, methylxanthine, xanthine, Vivarin, tea, coffee, cacao mulch, cocoa powder, Halloween candy, weight loss supplements, theobromine, dietary supplements, coffee beans, energy drinks, green tea, guarana.

TELEPHONE YOUR VET ASAP
REMEMBER PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN THE CURE

 

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