Dogs and Choccies: A Not So Egg-cellent Combo
Resisting the temptation of chocolate is hard for anyone, especially during Easter… or World Chocolate Day July 7th (we need an excuse for that?!!) or… let’s be honest here, every day is a good day for that sweet sweet goodness! A delightful mouthwatering treat for humans… lethal for dogs.
Lovely Alfie was not feeling quite so egg-cellent after chowing down on five small Easter chocolate treats. Five small eggs only totals around 1g of chocolate, a mere snack at best for humans, however, a 6kg pupper just doesn’t have the ability to metabolise the ingredients in chocolate, becoming fatal fast. It’s a guaranteed golden ticket to the chocolate decontamination factory (animal emergency) which we can assure them, is not as fun as Willy Wonka’s!
Chocolate contains Methylxanthines (Theobromine and Caffeine), two toxins that canines are unable to process. They cause a range of toxic effects from mild gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhoea), hyperactivity, hyperthermia, fatal heart rhythms, seizures, even coma and death. Alfie was lucky to be treated early enough by Dr Bek, which saved his little life. The earliest dogs can be decontaminated through induced vomiting and oral charcoal, the better their chances of chocolate toxicity survival.
Easter is a high-risk time for dogs and one of the busiest times for vet emergency from animals helping themselves to things they shouldn’t! However, pets eating foreign objects or toxic food is one of the biggest problems we treat all year round. Cooking chocolate and dark chocolate have the highest toxicity levels with just 5-10g able to cause serious harm or death. Even goods baked with cocoa powders or nibs can be dangerous. White chocolate has little to no theobromine or caffeine so the risk of a reaction is lower but the high sugar can still result in gastrointestinal upset. All types pose some form of risk, so ensure the choccies get stashed away in a safe place, out of reach from furry little mouths.