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Dogs and Chocolate

By Dr. Andrew Jones

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Look out for Chocolate
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I have had MANY an emergency due to dogs and chocolate- this is becoming increasingly common.

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.

In fact one day I had 2 small dogs that consumed OVER 1 pound of chocolate covered coffee beans..

Dogs surprise me as to what they will consume…

First before I give you all the specifics, I would suggest that you have a copy of my bestselling book on dog and cat at home remedies, including WHAT to do for poisoning..

It’s at: Dr Jones’ Bestselling Book

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WHAT you NEED to know
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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 theobromine:

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.

Vomiting
Diarrhea
Bloating
Restlessness
Increased Drinking
Increased Urinating

Progressing Signs:
Hyperactivity
Tremors
Seizures
Elevated Heart Rate/arrythmia
Cyanosis ( bluish gums)
Elevated blood pressure
Increased resiprations
Hyperthermia
Coma

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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P.S. The 2 small dogs that consumed the 1 pound of chocolate covered coffee beans were FINE because I did one thing that YOU can be doing at home: Inducing Vomiting.

AND if you are wanting to KNOW more about how to respond in ALL of the most common dog emergencies, go here:

Dr Jones’ Bestselling Book

Heal your pet at home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and
is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Dr
Andrew Jones resigned from the College of Veterinarians of B.C.
effective December 1 2010, meaning he cannot answer specific
questions about your pet’s medical issues or make specific medical
recommendations for your pet.

Copyright 2011 Four Paws Online Ltd.

Tel: 1-800-396-1534
Fax: 1-888-398-1378

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