Easter is one of the busiest times of year for vets when they have to deal with dogs that have eaten chocolate Easter eggs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a stimulant similar to caffeine and its toxic to dogs.Chocolate varies in its theobromine content. The most toxic is cocoa powder, followed by dark chocolate and milk chocolate. The signs of poisoning appear within 6 to 12 hours, but in some cases, they may not appear for several days. Symptoms include vomiting, increased heart rate, agitation and seizure.
If you think your dog has eaten chocolate call your vet immediately. Tell him or her how much your dog has eaten, the type of chocolate and the weight of your dog. The vet may recommend that you keep a close eye on your dog for the next few days, but if your dog has only eaten the chocolate in the last hour you will be asked to go in so your vet can induce vomiting and give activated charcoal to absorb any of the theobromine. If it’s a severe case of poisoning the dog may be kept in for IV fluids and further observations.
Always lock away those Easter eggs so they are out of reach of your dog and don’t leave a half eaten Easter egg on the table. Prevention is always better than treatment. And if your dog has eaten chocolate don’t wait to see if it starts to show symptoms, ring your vet immediately to get expert advice.
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