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Chocolate Poisoning

With Valentine's day coming up, it is not uncommon for us to encounter dogs with chocolate poisoning.

Chocolate contains theobromine which is the cause of this poisoning. Dogs can not metabolize these chemicals which makes them more sensitive to their effects.

The amount of toxic theobromine varies with the type of chocolate. The darker and bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs.

Toxic doses of theobromine are reported to be as low as 20 mg/kg where gastrointestinal signs( vomiting, diarrhea) can be seen. At doses over 40mg/kg, cardiac signs such as increased heart rate and blood pressure , arrhythmia can be seen. At doses over 60 mg/kg, neurological signs including tremors, seizures can be seen. Fatal doses are considered to be 100-200mg/kg in dogs.

Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning can take several hours to develop and can last for days so when in doubt, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian.





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