Chocolate can cause serious health issue to the dogs as it contains both caffeine and theobromine which can result in toxicity. The amount of risk involved depends on the type of chocolate that he has ingested. The chocolate which contains more theobromine content can create more toxicity in your dog’s body. Theobromine is medicinally used as a heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a muscle relaxant.
Signs of chocolate poisoning
The symptoms that indicate that your dog may have chocolate poisoning are:
- Muscle tremor
- Increased urination
- Increased heart rate
The symptoms will appear almost six to twelve hours after ingesting the chocolate.
Types of chocolate and their toxicity
Some chocolates are more toxic than the other as the amount of theobromine and caffeine vary in different types of chocolate. The type and amount of chocolate ingested will determine the level of toxicity. There are generally three types of chocolate:
- Baking chocolate: Baking chocolate has the highest content of theobromine and caffeine. A small amount of chocolate is enough to create toxicity in your furry companion’s body.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate is less toxic than the baking chocolate but if ingested in more amount than it can be fatal for your dog.
- Milk chocolate: Milk chocolate can cause mild toxicity as it has lower levels of the toxic elements but the fat and sugar content present in it can cause other severe health complications.
Diagnosis of chocolate poisoning
If you suspect that your dog is showing the signs of chocolate poisoning then you need to rush to a veterinarian immediately. Your doctor will perform a physical exam in order to check for chocolate poisoning in your furry companion. He can also consider doing a blood test to check the concentration of theobromine in the body. The veterinarian will ask you to induce vomiting if your dog has ingested chocolate in the last two hours.
Treatment of chocolate poisoning
- Supportive therapy: The doctor will provide Intravenous fluid administration to your furry companion which will help to dilute the levels of theobromine in the blood and it will help in excretion.
- Inducing vomiting: This method of treatment proves to be effective if you do it within the two hours of chocolate ingestion. For inducing vomiting, you need to give him a small amount of hydrogen peroxide.
- Activated charcoal: your veterinarian can also treat this issue by giving him a solution of activated charcoal which helps in absorbing the theobromine from his body.
Prevention of chocolate poisoning
As prevention is always better than cure so, the dog owners must consider taking effective ways in order to prevent chocolate poisoning in dogs.
- The best way to prevent this issue is to keep chocolates or cocoa powder out of the reach of your furry companion. Make sure to teach your kids not to give chocolates to the dog.
- Another way of preventing ingestion of chocolate is crate training him. When you are not monitoring your dog then you must him inside his crate.