Vets issue urgent warning to dog owners after common treat leaves pet needing emergency treatment
LONDON, ENGLAND: A sick pup was reportedly rushed to the ER after she consumed a large bag of Mini Eggs. Charlie, a Labrador cross Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was found by her owners with a chewed empty packet of the Easter treat.
The adorable canine had apparently managed to jump the stairgate and get her paws on the chocolate treat, scoffing the entire packet. Her family immediately rushed her to the PDSA Pet Hospital in Bournemouth as Charlie was seriously unwell. Her owners were increasingly worried after she vomited at least five times at home and continued to be sick during the car ride to the vet.
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Why is chocolate poisonous for dogs?
"We were suspicious that there could be even more chocolate left in Charlie's stomach, so we gave her an injection to make her sick to empty her stomach completely, and she brought up lots more chocolate vomit," PDSA vet Clare Sparks said, as quoted by Metro.
"Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is perfectly safe for humans, but toxic for dogs, cats, and rabbits," she explained. "The seriousness of chocolate poisoning depends on how much chocolate your pet has eaten, how big they are, and the cocoa content of the chocolate - the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is for your pet."
What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?
Fortunately, Charlie began to perk up not long after the injection and was able to head home to fully recuperate. According to the PDSA, the treatment used for chocolate and raisin toxicity saw a major uptick around Easter. "Symptoms of chocolate poisoning usually appear within two to four hours but can take up to 12 hours," Clare continued. "In severe cases, toxicity can cause fast breathing or panting, shaking, trembling and tremors, high temperature, seizures, a fast heart rate, and high blood pressure. The most severe cases of chocolate poisoning in pets can lead to heart failure, coma, and even death. Although this is rare this is why it's really important to keep chocolate safely away from prying paws," she added.
What to do if your dog ate chocolate?
If your dog has consumed chocolate, you are advised to call your vet immediately or contact the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) for advice. According to the American Kennel Club, if there's no vet available, some services provide live chat and video options to connect you with one. The vet will recommend that you monitor your dog for the clinical signs -- depending on the dog's size and the amount and type of chocolate consumed -- and call back if his or her condition worsens.
In more severe cases, the vet will prefer you bring your pooch to the clinic. They may induce vomiting and administer several doses of activated charcoal if your pet consumed the chocolate less than two hours ago. Charcoal helps move the toxins out of the body without being absorbed into the bloodstream. In critical cases, medical intervention may be required to provide supplemental treatment such as medications or IV fluids to neutralize the effects of the poisoning. Meanwhile, dogs who suffer seizures are usually kept at the clinic overnight for observation