What’s the worst that could happen if your dog manages to break into your chocolate stash? Unfortunately, the consequences can be deadly.
Chocolate toxicity in dogs is a serious subject that we are going to tackle in this article. Once you reach the end, you will have a much better understanding of the threat that chocolate poses.
But remember, we are not veterinarians. If you have any concerns about your dog, reach out to your vet.
Why is Chocolate Dangerous for Dogs?
Theobromine is found in cacao, which is a large component of chocolate. This compound is toxic to dogs and can affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and gastrointestinal tract.
What Happens When Dogs Eat Chocolate?
Signs of chocolate consumption range from mild to severe, depending on:
● How much chocolate your dog ingested.
● What kind of chocolate was consumed.
● How large or small your dog is. Little dogs are more likely to suffer from chocolate toxicity.
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include:
● Increased heart rate
● Increased blood pressure
● Cardiac arrhythmias
Diagnosing Chocolate Toxicity
If you suspect your dog has gotten a hold of chocolate, get your pet to the vet ASAP. Your vet will examine your dog for toxicity symptoms. Tests may also be conducted.
Those tests include:
● Complete Blood Count
● Biochemical Screen
● Fecal Examination
● Abdominal X-rays
● Abdominal Ultrasound
Treating Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
If your dog really did eat too much chocolate, quick action will be required. Your veterinarian will know what to do.
Here’s what might happen during the treatment process:
● If your dog receives treatment within 1-2 hours after consuming chocolate, your veterinarian might induce your pup to vomit.
● Activated charcoal could also be used to absorb the ingested chocolate and carry it out of your pup’s body.
● Certain drugs might be used to support the GI tract, and/or control the heart rate.
● Anticonvulsants might be necessary if your dog is having seizures.
● If your dog’s good bacteria get wiped out during the ordeal, your vet might use probiotics and prebiotics to restore those good bugs.
● Cardiovascular and/or nervous system assistance will be required if either of those systems have been affected.
This list of treatments is only meant to give you an idea of what might happen if your dog consumes too much chocolate. We can’t tell you exactly what your vet will do because different situations require different treatment methods.
That also means we can’t give you an accurate estimate of the total cost of care. That all just depends on how much work needs to be done, but the total could be anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
By now, you should be convinced that keeping chocolate out of your canine’s reach is vitally important. This will save time, stress, anxiety, money, and possibly your dog’s life.
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