We may love chocolate but…

Chocolate bar compilation

Our pets should not enjoy such treats! Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. These two elements are nervous system stimulants and can be toxic to your pet when ingested in significant amounts. The levels of caffeine and theobromine vary between different types of chocolate.  White chocolate, for example, has the lowest concentration of stimulants and baking chocolate have the highest concentration.

Depending on the type of chocolate your pet chooses to ingest and the amount consumed, various problems can arise. The high fat content in chocolate may result in vomiting and possibly diarrhea. Once toxic levels are eaten, the stimulant effect becomes apparent. You may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and possibly excessive panting. Heart rate and blood pressure levels may also be increased. Seizure activity may occur in severe cases.

Regardless of the symptoms, if you suspect your pet has consumed chocolate, prompt veterinary attention is critical.
Treatment depends on the severity of the clinical signs and may include continuous intravenous fluid therapy, medications to help control vomiting and sedatives to counteract the stimulant effects of chocolate. Occasionally medication to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure is indicated.

Most pets treated for chocolate toxicity recover and return to normal within 24-48 hours of treatment.

In addition, did you know …
One uncommon but potential source of chocolate is in certain mulches. Cacoa bean mulch is made from the hulls of cacoa beans and when fresh has a rich, chocolate aroma. Ingestion of large amounts of fresh mulch can result in chocolate toxicity. To keep your pet safe, keep him away from the mulch until the chocolate aroma has gone. A thorough watering or heavy rainfall often reduces the potential toxicity.

Call us immediately at (614)888-4050 if your pet endulges in consuming chocolate!


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