Dogs

Dogs

CHOCOLATE POISONING IN ANIMALS

 

With Easter fast approaching this weekend we need to be aware of how toxic chocolate is to animals. Although chocolate is one of our favourite foods it contains a substance that is toxic to animals. Poisoning is common in dogs because of their habit of rapid consumption. Remember to keep your chocolates and cake goodies safely away from your pets. Chocolate poisoning is caused by excessive intake of the methylxanthine alkaloids in chocolate, coffee and tea.  This drug causes blood vessels to restrict, a rapid and weak heartbeat and they stimulate the nervous system. The biggest threat is from cooking chocolate, followed by semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate and hot chocolate.

The signs of chocolate poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea 2-4 hours after intake, and chocolate in the vomit may be obvious. Nervous stimulation leads to hyperactivity, tremors and seizures. The heart rate becomes increasingly rapid and irregular. Excessive urination may result from the diuretic (water clearing) action of the chocolate. Advanced signs include stiffness, excitement, seizures and extreme response to noise, light and touch. Heart failure, coma and death can occur in 12 to 36 hours after the intake.

If a combination of chocolate ingestion, vomiting, nervousness or weakness is seen, take your dog immediately to your Veterinarian. There is no antidote for chocolate poisoning, therefore it is best to keep all chocolate goodies well out of the reach of your pets so chocolate poisoning can be prevented.

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