What you need to know about chocolate poisoning

August 23rd, 2012 at 3:00 am EST

Hello to you this Thursday.

Look out for Chocolate

In general, Veterinarians are seeing MORE chocolate toxicities, due to our increased desire to consume 'healthier'dark chocolate- BUT your pet only needs to consume 1/3 as much dark chocolate as
opposed to milk chocolate to become seriously ill.

Not too long ago, (while I was practicing :-) ) I had 2 small dogs
that consumed OVER 1 pound of chocolate covered coffee beans..

Dogs surprise me as to what they will consume...

WHAT you NEED to know

1. The TOXIC and potentially FATAL dose of
chocolate is 60mg/kg- so a 10lb dog only
needs to consume 300mg of chocolate.

Clinical Signs can be seen as low as
20mg/kg- meaning our little 10lb dog only
needs to consume 100mg to have problems.

Severe signs are seen at 40mg/kg-
or consuming 200mg of chocolate.

2. The Toxic components are theobromine
and caffeine- although the theobromine
is the BIGGEST toxin.

3. Here are some relative amounts of

Milk chocolate bar ( 5oz) -250mg theobromine
Dark chocolate bar ( 70% cocoa) - 600mg theobromine
Unsweetened Baking chocolate (per square) - 400mg theobromine
Semisweet Chocolate Chips ( per 30 chips) - 250mg theobromine
Instant Cocoa Powder ( per ounce) - 150mg theobromine
Dry Cocoa Powder ( per ounce) - 700mg theobromine

4. Here are some of the clinical signs-
they occur 6-12 hours after ingestion.

Increased Drinking
Increased Urinating

Progressing Signs:
Elevated Heart Rate/arrythmia
Cyanosis ( bluish gums)
Elevated blood pressure
Increased resiprations

5. What to do

- IF your dog/cat consumes 20mg/kg of
theobromine or higher, then induce vomiting:

PURGE THE POISON. In most cases of poisoning,
getting your pet to vomit is the most important
thing that you can do. To induce vomiting, give
hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of
body weight. If your pet doesn't vomit in 10 minutes,
repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments of
peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1
teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of water per
every 10lbs of body weight.

DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily
available at most pharmacies. It delays absorption
of any toxin by binding to the toxic compound in
the stomach. The easiest way is to give the capsule
form. For those garbage-eating dogs (such as my own dog)
it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide and activated
charcoal always on hand.

-IF your dog is showing ANY of the clinical signs,
such as vomiting, increased drinking, bloating
and tremors, then see your Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

-IF you are UNABLE to induce vomiting, SEE your

P.S. The 2 small dogs that consumed the 1pound of chocolate covered coffee beans were FINE because I did one thing that YOU can be doing at home: Inducing Vomiting.

AND if you are wanting to KNOW more about how to respond in
case your dog consumes chocolate, go here:


It's Your Pet. Heal Them At Home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and
is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian.
Dr Andrew Jones resigned from the College of Veterinarians of
B.C. effective December 1 2010, meaning he cannot answer specific
questions about your pet's medical issues or make specific
medical recommendations for your pet.

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