The harmful effect of chocolate
If chocolate is a delicacy for human beings, it is one of the most common causes of canine poisoning, due to a chemical compound « theobromine » contained in cocoa beans.
Toxicity will depend on :
- The kind of chocolate ingested (dark chocolate being the worst due to a high level content of theobromine).
- The amount absorbed
- Dog size
When do the symptoms occur ?
The effects of theobromine usually occur within 4 to 24 hours after consumption.
The harmful effects on dogs :
- high blood pressure
- a rapid pulse
- respiratory failure
- cardiac arrest
Every second counts, if your dog is small and has eaten a large amount of chocolate, go immediately to your veterinary surgery.
For guidance : just 2.25 ounces of dark chocolate can potentially kill a 22-pound dog.
What is the recommended treatment ?
Obviously, this will depend on the nature of the poisoning. The vet will induce vomiting (if the dog isn’t vomiting on its own), so as to limit the amount of « theobromine » from entering its system. Normally, charcoal is prescribed to reduce the absorption of toxins and appropriare medication will be given in prevention of seizures and to protect the heart.