Monday, May 30, 2011

Chocolate toxicity ???

It's been a very long time since I had a dog.  And I don't have any idea that my favorite chocolates would be harmful to my beloved pet.  Thanks to my sister, I am enlightened! :D

I recently adopted a very handsome dog name "BUKNOY"!  He's a Labrador retriever.  Very adorable and that's the reason why I can't resist his charm so I carried him home and bought his things like his shampoo, feeding plate, his food and would you believe even a diaper :D

Before going home, my puppy begs for some chocolate bread to my nephew and my nephew refused to give him and reason out that's it's dangerous for the dog.  Upon hearing that, I asked my sister and she confirmed me that it’s true.  To satisfy my curiosity, I googled it and found out these helpful facts:

It turns out that, for dogs, a chemical in chocolate called theobromine is the source of the problem.  Theobromine is similar to caffeine. According to this page, theobromine is toxic to a dog when it ingests between 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. 

Chocolate poisoning is actually not as unusual as it sounds. For a human being, caffeine is toxic at levels of 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (see this page). That's the same as for dogs! Humans generally weigh a lot more than dogs, but small children can get into trouble with caffeine or chocolate if they consume too much of it. Infants are especially vulnerable because they don't eliminate caffeine from the bloodstream nearly as quickly as adults. 

The good news is that it takes, on average, a fairly large amount of theobromine 100-150 mg/kg to cause a toxic reaction. Although there are variables to consider like the individual sensitivity, animal size and chocolate concentration.

On average, Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.

Semisweet chocolate contains 150mg/oz.

Baker's chocolate 390mg/oz.

Using a dose of 100 mg/kg as the toxic dose it comes out roughly as:
1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight for Milk chocolate
1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for Semisweet chocolate
1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for Baker's chocolate.

For example, 2 oz. of Baker's chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems.

Xanthines affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves. It has a diuretic effect as well. Clinical signs:

Hyper excitability
Hyper irritability
Increased heart rate
Increased urination
Muscle tremors

There is no specific antidote for this poisoning. And the half life of the toxin is 17.5 hours in dogs. Induce vomiting in the first 1-2 hours if the quantity is unknown. Administering activated charcoal may inhibit absorption of the toxin. An anticonvulsant might be indicated if neurological signs are present and needs to be controlled. Oxygen therapy, intravenous medications, and fluids might be needed to protect the heart.

Milk chocolate will often cause diarrhea 12-24 hours after ingestion. This should be treated symptomatically (fluids, etc..) to prevent dehydration.

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your Vet immediately! They can help you determine the the proper treatment for your pet.
I love chocolates, now that I know that it would endanger my dog, I'll be very careful eating it and so with our house mates  :)

Thanks to this link:

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***chocolate pictures are from google

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