Easter treats and your pet – more than just GI upset?

By April 14, 2014Uncategorized

The dangers of chocolate at Easter

With Easter coming up rapidly, we would like to urge owners to be extra cautious with chocolate around the house.

Chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine which pets cannot metabolize like humans do.

Different types of chocolate pose different degrees of threats to your pet.  Bakers and dark chocolate contain more theobromine than milk chocolate and white chocolate do, however; your pet shouldn’t consume milk or white chocolate either.

If your pet consumes any kind of chocolate, than you should be ready to notice the signs and symptoms of toxicity,(which are usually visibly seen up to 12 hours after consumption). Symptoms could be as follows:

·         Excitement / nervousness / trembling

·         Vomiting / diarrhea

·         Excessive thirst / sometimes excessive urination (at higher levels of theobromine toxicity)

·         Muscle spasms

·         Seizures

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, it would be safest to get in contact with your veterinarian to determine the severity and the course of action.  The sooner that we are aware of the inappropriate ingestion, the more effective the treatment will be.

The packaging of these treats can also be a cause of irritation or trauma to the digestive tract, as pets sneaking chocolate rarely take the time to unwrap it!

Holidays and special occasions can also mean increases in table scraps, garbage gutting, and stress induced gi upset from changes in routine or company.  If your pet is off, investigate! 

Information collected from: Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM. (2014). What Makes Chocolate Toxic, And What Are The Signs Seen With Toxicity?
Retrieved from: http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/toxicology/f/FAQ_choctox.htm

Blog created by: Jennifer Owens (co-op student Mississippi Veterinary Services)