By Dr. Andrew Jones
This question was posted a number of years ago, but is still especially relevant today.
Should you be worried or rush to the vet?
My Chihuahua weighs about 6-7 lbs. and she ate 3 chocolate chip cookies and a brownie yesterday. she couldn’t keep water down at first but now she can. she is still vomiting though. should I take her to a vet or do an at home remedy?
The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine.
The half life in the dog is 17.5 hours.
The Toxic dose in the dog is 100-150 mg/kg (kilogram (kg) = 2.2 lbs, milligram(mg) = 1/1000 of a gram).
So for a 50 pound dog, a toxic dose would be roughly 2.2 grams (2200 mg) of pure chocolate. For your 10 lb dog, the toxic dose is 500mg.
However the concentration of theobromine varies with the formulation of the chocolate so:
Milk chocolate has 44mg/oz (154mg/100gm): toxic dose for 50 lb dog – 50 oz of milk chocolate.
Semisweet chocolate has 150 mg/oz (528mg/100gm): toxic dose for 50 lb dog – 15 oz of semisweet chocolate
Baking chocolate 390mg/oz (1365 mg/100gm): toxic dose for 50 lb dog – 5 oz of baking chocolate
Thus a dog eating one oz of baking chocolate would have to eat almost 3 oz of semisweet or 10 oz of milk chocolate to get the same dose of theobromine.
The theobromine in candies consisting of chocolate that is coated over some other substance – as in filled candies and chocolate coated dried fruits, etc. will be more dilute than that in pure chocolate bars and solid chocolate candies.
Obviously the chocolate in milk chocolate is quite dilute and this is why many dogs can eat a piece here and there and seem not to show toxic effects, how many dogs would get ahold of 50 oz at a time? This is not true of the more concentrated forms however. Dr Sue Bank’s experience was that she had two dogs, a 95 pound one and a 60 pound one. They got ahold of 2 one pound bags of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate pieces (a bag each). The 95 pound dog survived but the 60 pound dog ingested a toxic dose.
This means that your dog likely has the ill effects of a sore belly.
I would still advise seeing your vet to treat for the stomach upset.
Here are a few options to consider for the vomiting:
A CUP OF TEA. Peppermint Tea is an old remedy used for upset stomachs in people. Brew up a strong cup of tea, but allow it to cool before offering it. Give your dog 1/4 cup per 10 lbs of body weight three times daily, give your cat 1 tablespoon three times daily.
ARSENICUM. The major remedy for Garbage Gut and food poisoning. Dose 30C every 2 hours for 1- 2 days.
EFFECTIVE ACID REDUCTION. Famotidine is an OTC pill sold under the brand PEPCID and it is safe for both dogs and cats. The dose is 5 mg (1/2 a tab) per 10 lbs twice daily for 1-2 days
Heal Your Pet At Home!
Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
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