Dog Ate Chocolate – Baker’s Chocolate vs White Chocolate

My dog ate chocolate what do I do?

· Reach out to: ASPCA poison control, Pet Poison Hotline or your veterinarian.
· Try to have a rough idea about how much chocolate was eaten and what type
· Try to have a general idea how long ago it was eaten
· Be aware roughly how much your dog weighs
· Be prepared to take your dog to your veterinarian or the closest animal emergency hospital.

Why does it matter what type of chocolate?

· Different types of chocolate contain more methylxanthines than others. Baker’s chocolate or dark chocolate is very high in methylxanthines but white chocolate has hardly any.

Why is chocolate so bad for dogs?

Chocolate contains caffeine and caffeine-like compounds called methylxanthines. Dogs cannot metabolize these compounds so depending on amounts they can get:

· Digestive upset,
· Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
· Changes in heart rhythm (arrythmias)
· Seizures

What will happen if I take my pet to the vet?

Depending on the time frame and the amount of the toxin ingestion they can

· Induce vomiting
· Give activated charcoal
· Monitor for clinical signs
· Treat for clinical signs

Inducing vomiting

This is most safely done at a veterinarian’s office. A veterinarian can give an injection or apply eyedrops that will cause them to vomit. The team at the veterinary hospital will monitor your pet and examine the vomitus to see if any of toxic substance can be recovered. Afterwards, anti-nausea medication can be given to make your pet’s stomach settle.

Decontamination with activated charcoal

Activated charcoal, when given orally, binds to toxins so that they are not absorbed as easily when they pass through the intestines. Sometimes sorbitol is mixed in the activated charcoal to encourage the toxin to be eliminated faster.

Activated charcoal must be given carefully to fully conscious pets as aspiration or inhaling it can be dangerous. If more than one dose is given; then bloodwork must be checked as activated charcoal causes an increase in the sodium level in the blood.

Dog Chocolate will cause your pet’s stool to be black in color for 24 -48 hours after it is given.

Hospitalize for monitoring and treat for clinical signs if needed

Your veterinarian will check

· heart rate,
· blood pressure
· ECG tracings to check for abnormal heart rhythms.
· Your pet may be given IV fluids to encourage them to eliminate the toxin in the urine
· Your pet will be walked very frequently so that caffeine doesn’t have a chance to re-absorb in the bladder
· Vomiting and Diarrhea can be treated if needed
· Seizures if they occur.

Dog white chocolate

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