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Understanding Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs

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Chocolate is a tasty treat for humans, but it can be quite dangerous if your dog consumes it. Compounds in chocolate, such as caffeine, can stress a dog's nervous system and cause a dangerous increase in heart rate. If your dog has accidentally eaten chocolate, it is important for you to react quickly. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect if your dog consumes a large amount of chocolate:

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

The symptoms of chocolate poisoning in canines usually begin within several hours of the chocolate being consumed. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, restlessness and irritability, seizures, abnormal heart rate, and an increase in urination. Older dogs and any dog that has a heart condition may also be at risk for suddenly collapsing and dying due to chocolate poisoning. How chocolate affects your dog will depend on the amount consumed and the size of the dog.

Contact a Vet or Animal Hospital

As soon as you realize that your dog has consumed chocolate, it is very important to contact your dog's vet or a local animal hospital. If your dog consumed a small amount of chocolate relative to his size, a vet may have you monitor your dog and watch for worsening symptoms.

If your dog consumed a large amount of chocolate, or if he is showing several symptoms of acute chocolate poisoning, you will be advised to bring your dog to the vet's office or the animal hospital. If you can get your dog to the vet immediately after the chocolate is consumed, the vet may be able to induce vomiting and use activated charcoal to help remove the chocolate from your dog's system.

Severe Cases of Chocolate Poisoning

In severe cases of chocolate poisoning, your dog may need to stay at an animal hospital overnight for advanced veterinary treatment. Medications and I.V. fluids may be administered to help your dog through the chocolate poisoning. Additional monitoring may be needed if your dog suffered seizures due to chocolate poisoning. 

Recovery from Chocolate Poisoning in Canines

Many dogs recover from chocolate poisoning-- the best outcomes tend to be for dogs who are immediately taken to the vet to induce vomiting before the compounds from the chocolate enter the bloodstream. Dogs already displaying symptoms of chocolate poisoning can make a full recovery with supportive therapy administered by a vet. Since the symptoms of chocolate poisoning can be severe, it may take some time for your dog to regain his energy and normal personality.  

For more information contact an animal clinic like Windsor Veterinary Clinic PC.