Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What to Do for Chocolate Poisoning

Hi all, DogMom here.

I hope that none of you dogs or your moms, dads, owners or masters have to live through what Gomer, Opie and I went through over the weekend.


If you are a dogmom or dogdad, put the chocolate way out of reach from your pets. Don't assume anything... locked in a suitcase on top of the counter is not a good enough barrier for a motivated dog (like Opie)! Their smellers are 100-1000 times better then ours...

Anyways, here's some advice pulled from several sources on the Internet and from the veterinarian that treated my boyz at the Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Services. (Thank you, Dr. Yantes!)

What you should know:
  • Dark chocolate is worse than milk chocolate, because of the higher levels of theobromine.
  • The truly worrisome guideline level of chocolate ingestion for dogs is 1 oz. for every 5 pounds of body weight. This is only a guideline... some dogs have a severe reaction at lower levels; some seem to be able to process more with less reaction.
  • While vomiting and diarrhea are troublesome, the real danger is cardiac arrhythmia and nervous system disorders, including seizures. (Opie's heart rate increased from 84 to 160 in the course of an hour...)

What you need to do:

  • STAY CALM. Not the easiest thing in the world, but if you can stay calm, your pet will stay calmer.
  • Check their pulse. Normal pulse range for dogs is 60-120 beats per minute. If you need help on how to take a dog's pulse, see this site: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1670&articleid=1077. If the pulse reaches 150 beats/minute for a dog Gomer & Opie's size (50 pounds), call the vet and get them to the hospital.
  • Induce vomiting. Get as much of the chocolate out of their system as quickly as you can to reduce the effects. You can use syrup of ipecac (available at pharmacies), which you should have on hand in your medicine chest anyways. If you don't have that, give 1-2 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide every 15 minutes until they vomit. (From experience, I recommend waiting till they vomit after you've given the hydrogen peroxide before you put them in your car...)
  • After vomiting, administer activated charcoal, if you have it on hand... (It is recommended to be part of your poison control kit by several web sites. You may have to hunt for it; I asked my local independent pharmacy to special-order it for me.) Give 1-2 tsp mixed with water to the texture of slurry. If you don't have it on hand... get them to the vet! The charcoal absorbs the toxin and prevents it from getting into their bloodstream and nervous systems.
  • Take them to the vet.

Stuff to have on hand:

Here's another good web site for info... http://www.dogownersdigest.com/news/library/chocolate-poisoning-dog-care.shtml

Good luck and keep your puppies safe!

Until I bark next... DogMom


Butchy & Snickers said...

Oh my dawgness,
We are so happy you two are going to be ok. How come you ate all of that chocolate stuff?? Bet you don't do that again. Mama used to have other doggies years ago, one was a female german shorthair pointer and she was in heat. It was right before Christmas and Mama had made homemade chocolate candies and they were sitting on the table. Well when Mama & Papa left for a bit and came back home, all of the chocolates were gone! Jade had eaten them all and the doberman Jake just watched her, hehehehe. Mama was relieved when Jade pooped out all of the chocolates the next morning, man what a huge pile! So stay away from the CHOCOLATE!
Luv & Big Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Cubby said...

Poor babies! I'm so glad it all turned out in the end, but how terrible and scary!

Thank you so much for making a donation to the boxer puppies and rest and feel better (including mom)!

DogsAyeView said...

Yeah, we'll be ok... let me tell ya tho, if I even get a whiff of chocolate, I feel sick. I think I'll stick to the dog-kibble-treat morsels from now on... Wuf Ya! Opie & Gomer

Hudson said...

My mom says thanks for the info. She just gave me a big long lecture about the dangers of chocolate. Hope I remember!

Dana said...

Opie & Gomer,

I am happy to hear that you are both doing ok. I wanted to thank you very much for you most thoughtful donation to the puppies at Legacy Boxer Rescue. We are so lucky that Cubby has such nice friends.

No more chocolate, leave that for your mom.


Jim said...

blimey .. that was a lucky escape .. Paula keeps goin' on about how you can't let dogs have chocolate.. Stick to chasing squirrels I'd say ;-)


DogsAyeView said...

Yeah, Jim. But dogmom doesn't like us to chase squirrels, either...


PerfectTosca said...

Gee Wilikers my mom sure is brain dead! How did she miss this post. You guys better NEVER touch chocolate again. My mom lost a dog to chocolate when she was a kid and she never forgot it! She's very anal retentive about chocolate and me and the cats can't get within a mile of it.

I'm glad my boyfriends are ok though. Yeesh, not good guys. Not good at all!

Gomer & Opie said...

Hi Tosca! Yep, we agree... chocolate is not good at all. Well, it was good at first, but afterwords it wasn't. We don't recommend it any more.