There’s a lot of delicious chocolate around this time of year, and why not? We love it. Unfortunately, so do dogs and cats – the problem being that it’s actually poisonous to them. Obviously, the safest thing is to keep it out of their reach, but that can be easier said than done.
Which is why the team at Clent Hills Vets has put together some information on what to look out for in case your pet manages to get their paws on some of the sweet stuff. Always contact us if you think your dog or cat might have eaten something they shouldn’t – whatever time or day it is. There will always be someone on the end of the phone 01527 889810 who will help you.
The culprit in chocolate when it comes to posing a threat to pets is a substance called theobromine – the very thing that makes it so appealing to us.
Cats, dogs and rabbits can’t digest this chemical and it can damage the central nervous and circulatory systems as it circulates in the bloodstream, leading to symptoms including:
- excessive thirst and urination
- sore tummy
- muscle tremors
- irregular heartbeat
More severe symptoms can include:
Symptoms usually appear within four hours of your pet eating the chocolate, but can take up to 36 hours to show. Very extreme levels of toxicity are thankfully rare, but treatment will invariably be needed at any level.
If you think your pet has eaten chocolate be ready to tell our vet: how much chocolate you think they ate; what type of chocolate, eg, dark, milk, white (dark chocolate contains the most theobromine but all chocolate is toxic to dogs) and when they ate it. If you can show us the wrapper that would also be useful.
If you bring your pet to Clent Hills Vets for treatment for chocolate poisoning, it may include inducing vomiting (you should never try this yourself at home unless specifically instructed to do so by a vet), or giving them liquid activated charcoal to reduce absorption. They may also be hospitalised and put on a drip to stabilise them.
We really hope we don’t see your pet soon, but if the worst does happen, you now have our emergency details to hand.