When people say you always love the things that are bad for you they surely had dogs and chocolate in mind. Sweet, decadent chocolate smells like heaven to our furry friends, but the consequences of them getting a taste is anything but! Needless to say, Easter is always a busy time for vets with chocolate toxicities.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PET EATS CHOCOLATE
It is always best to get your dog to a Vet as soon as possible, even if you only suspect your dog has gotten hold of some of your favourite Easter chocolate. When you call your vet they will ask how much and what type of chocolate your dog has ingested. This will indicate the danger of the toxicity. For example, dark and cooking chocolate rank highest in toxicity, followed by milk and then white chocolate.
Furthermore, the size of your dog will also indicate the toxicity level. Calculators such as this one are used, but it is important to understand that any amount of ingested chocolate can be dangerous.
Finally, your vet will induce your pet to vomit by using an injection under the skin or medication applied to the eye. This occurs very quickly and sometimes (in serious cases) a charcoal meal or enema may also be given to reduce the toxicity. Further supportive care with fluid therapy may be given in the worse cases.
OTHER THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR THIS EASTER
SWEETS - While Theobromine in chocolate is that culprit that makes our pets sick, Xylitol in sweets and lollies can wreak just as much havoc.
HOT CROSS BUNS - Delicious, but full of the dried fruit like sultanas and raisins (and grapes) that can cause liver damage in dogs.
EASTER LILIES - A common flower that is featured at this time of year and causes kidney failure in cats. The stems, leaves, flowers and stamen are all dangerous, as is the water the flowers are stored in.