We all love chocolate and so do the dogs. Dogs have a sweet tooth that makes them taste it. But beware, chocolate is too toxic for dogs. Chocolate has a compound that is similar to that of caffeine that can affect the vitals f the dog. This stimulant is theobromine and its amount differs in different chocolates but all the same.
The theobromine in chocolate affects directly the heart, kidneys and central nervous system of the dogs. The symptoms will be seen within 4-24 hours of consumption. Depending on the amount the stimulant is present in the chocolate the intensity and the [ace at which the symptoms appear will be big.
Know the symptoms
- Vomiting is the first symptom of chocolate poisoning. The vomit may or may not have blood.
- Diarrhea is another symptom that shows the digestive system is also affected.
- Restlessness and hyperactivity comes next. The affected dog will be too agitated to sit calm. With all the tensions going inside that would be their only mode of communication.
- The muscles in the dog will be tense and unwilling to co-operate. The dog will show non-coordination.
- Theobromine is a stimulant that makes the heart rate of the dog shooting up.
- Seizures are also seen when the stimulant is in high concentration.
The symptoms are in accordance with how much chocolate the dog ate. more they eat more troublesome it would be.
What is the limit?
When it comes to dogs and puppies, there is no upper or lower limit for chocolates. What matters is, how much they had and what kind of chocolate. White chocolate is the safest of all with very less theobromine. This is followed by milk chocolate and then comes the semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate that contains moderate amount of theobromine. Unsweetened baking chocolate has around 400 mg of this toxic stimulant and the dry cocoa powder takes the price to have high concentration of the culprit here. It has 800 mg of theobromine per 25 gms of chocolate.
Sometimes we may not know how much they ate and what exactly the variety was. The best thing you can do is to keep the chocolates away from the dogs, all the while.
What is the immediate action?
The best thing to do is to get the chocolate out of the dog’s system as early as possible. If you know the approximate amount and type of chocolate, and if it is mild, you can induce vomiting in the canines.
If the incident has been an hour or so ago, the dog may start showing symptoms such as excessive drooling, trebling, shaking etc. In that case, take it to the vet immediately. It will need more than just vomiting.
Caution is the only way
There are no antidotes for theobromine toxicity. The only way is to induce vomiting or clean the stomach. The vet may feed activated charcoal to the dog to absorb the toxins in the system. medication would be required for extreme cases such as high heart rate and seizures.