Chocolate toxicity in pets

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Chocolate Toxicity

The toxic ingredient in chocolate is called Theobromine – which is in the same family of drugs as Caffeine. Cooking chocolate contains a higher amount of toxin than milk chocolate.

These drugs effect the brain, heart and muscle by the release of adrenaline and upsetting of calcium levels.

What signs will I see?

Most signs are seen within 2-4 hours of chocolate ingestion, and usually include restlessness, anxiety, and hyper-excitability.

Depending on the amount of chocolate consumed, other signs may include.

1. Vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors or weakness

2. Blood in urine and dehydration

3. Heart arrhythmias

4. Excitability OR depression

5. Seizures, coma, death

What Else Can Cause These Symptoms?

Toxins such as pesticides, nicotine, anti-depressants and amphetamines can also cause these symptoms so need to be ruled out as well.

How Much Chocolate is too much?

 4 kg cat5 kg dog10 kg dog20 kg dog
Cooking chocolate20g35g70g140g
Dark chocolate60g100g200g400g
Milk chocolate180g280g560g1120g

Can Chocolate Toxicity be treated?

If your pet is caught in the act of eating chocolate call your vet immediately.  Induction of vomiting, possibly flushing of the stomach and supportive treatment such as oxygen, fluids and medication can be given. 

Prevention is better than cure!  Make sure chocolate is kept well away from your pets.

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