Marius Small Animal Veterinary Clinic
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Chocolate Hazards

Chocolate Toxicity

With Easter just around the corner, chocolate toxicity is an important topic.

Chocolate is toxic and can be fatal to your pets. Mostly seen in dogs, as they are most likely to eat chocolate, it can be seen in cats as well.

 

The toxic components in the chocolate is theobromine and caffeine. This varies in strength depending on the type of chocolate. The purer the chocolate the more toxic the chocolate. For example, white chocolate has hardly any theobromine and caffeine, while unsweetened bakers chocolate contains the highest levels of theobromine and caffeine. This all factors in to how toxic the chocolate is to your pet.

The factors will be dependent on the type of chocolate, the amount ingested, and the size of the pet. 

For example a 20kg dog ingesting 30 grams of would be considered mild toxicity and you may see some vomiting and diarrhoea, but this amount is not likely to be toxic. If there is significant vomiting then a serious condition called pancreatitis is possible.

For example a 20kg dog ingesting 50 grams of unsweetened bakers chocolate would be considered severe toxicity and regardless of seeing or not seeing the above signs , you should seek veterinary attention immediately. Your dog is in danger of seizures, tremors, coma and even death. Pancreatitis is possible as well.

For example a 20kg dog ingesting 100 grams of white chocolate is still not likely to have any chocolate toxicity. However due to the fat and sugar levels your dog has ingested vomiting and diarrhoea can still occur and this could be a sign of pancreatitis. You should seek veterinary attention if this occurs.

Symptoms of chocolate toxicity: 

If you are seeing these then please contact your veterinarian immediately!

·         vomiting

·         diarrhoea

·         increased thirst

·         panting or restlessness

·         excessive urination

·         racing heart rate

·         muscle tremors

·         seizures

death

Bonnie Douglas