Chocolate poisoning in dogs is a medical condition that occurs when a dog suffers from adverse symptoms after eating chocolate. It happens due to the presence of caffeine and theobromine in chocolate, and both substances can be toxic to dogs. In some cases, it can even be fatal. This is why it is so important to keep chocolate out of your dog’s reach.
If you see signs that your dog might be suffering from chocolate poisoning, consult your veterinarian immediately for a proper diagnosis and advice. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of chocolate poisoning in dogs.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs
Chocolate poisoning in dogs can bring on a wide range of symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Rising body temperature
- Rapid breathing
- Frequent urination
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
Causes of chocolate poisoning in dogs
Chocolate poisoning happens when a dog consumes chocolate that contains caffeine and theobromine. Both of these substances are toxic to dogs.
The amount of chocolate a dog eats and the type of chocolate a dog eats can also determine how severely it affects them. As a rough estimate, consuming 2 ounces of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is considered to be a severely toxic level.
Darker chocolate and baking chocolate usually contain higher levels of caffeine and theobromine, so an even smaller amount can bring on the symptoms of poisoning.
If you suspect chocolate poisoning, your vet will want to do a physical examination as well as blood and urine tests.
When it comes to treatment, vets often use the technique of induced vomiting. Make sure that your vet carries this out. Never attempt to induce vomiting in your dog yourself.
Additionally, the use of activated charcoal can help to stop a dog’s body from absorbing the theobromine that’s found in chocolate. Fluid therapy is also usually given to dogs undergoing treatment. This is to ensure that they stay properly hydrated.
This type of poisoning can be a serious condition for dogs. Don’t leave chocolate in places where your curious canine could get to it.