Most of us love chocolate but for dogs it’s a killer. But what is it about chocolate that is so lethal to our canine family members?
Theobromine is a stimulant found in chocolate. It’s rather like caffeine. Theobromine is highly toxic for dogs and does vary in degree as a component of different chocolate bars. White chocolate contains the least theobromine and dark chocolate contains the highest level of theobromine.
Theobromine affects the heart, the central nervous system and also the kidneys. Poisoning can occur from 4-24 hours after your dog has eaten the chocolate, and the severity will vary depending on the amount of chocolate (and in turn theobromine) your dog has eaten.
If your dog has eaten chocolate, you may see:
- Vomiting (this may include blood)
- Restlessness and possibly hyperactivity
- Your dog may have rapid breathing
- Muscle tension and possibly incoordination
- An increased heart rate may be noticed
- Your dog may start to have seizures
Our advice is to not give your dog any chocolate at all. Nevertheless, on occasion our determined dogs do of course still manage to get a hold of some chocolate on their own – particularly at festive times of the year when we are likely to have more chocolate around. If this happens, try to work out as best you can how much chocolate your dog has consumed and what kind of chocolate. From there either visit http://www.vets-now.com/chocolate