How Can Chocolates Be Dangerous To Your Dog?
All chocolates includes cocoa and cocoa contains the compound theobromine. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs because of the theobromine stimulant. Humans can easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process is slow, allowing to build the toxic levels in their systems.
The toxicity of chocolate effects the dog depending on the size of the dog, the amount of chocolate consumed by the dog. The concentration of theobromine varies depending on types of chocolates which are made. Compared to milk chocolates other cocoa and dark chocolate contains higher amount of theobromine.
How Will The Theobromine Affect The Dog?
Theobromine mainly affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms will occur from 4-24 hours after your dog has eaten chocolate and will vary depending on the amount of chocolate (theobromine) your dog has eaten.
What Are The Symptoms After Dog Has Eaten The Chocolate?
If your dog has eaten chocolate, you may see:
- Vomiting (may include blood)
- Restlessness and hyperactivity
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle tension, in-coordination
- Increased heart rate
How Vet Diagnosis The Pooch?
Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam, including a chemical blood profile, electrolyte panel and a urinalysis. These tests will help determine if there is a chocolate/caffeine overdose. Blood can also be taken to test for theobromine concentrations, while an ECG is performed to help determine if the heart is showing any abnormalities in rhythm or conduction of heart beats.
What Is The Treatment?
Your dog should be seen immediately by your veterinarian, but you will need to call your veterinarian first to find out if there is immediate care that you begin with. It is common practice to induce vomiting and control any seizures, should they occur. In the meantime, you will need to keep your dog cool, calm, and in a quiet space. Fluids will be given to keep your dog to keep it hydrated as its condition improves. To avoid any further problems, it should be fed a bland diet for several days.