Why is chocolate bad for dogs?
I've heard chocolate is really dangerous for dogs to eat. Why is this?
Chocolate contains methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of theobromine and caffeine, that cause constriction of arteries, increased heart rate, and central nervous system stimulation. These effects can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and increased urinations. More advanced symptoms of toxicity include excitability, increased respirations and heartbeat, stiffness, seizures and exaggerated reflexes.
Certain types of chocolate contain higher amounts of methylxanthines, baking chocolate containing the highest and white chocolate containing the least. Dogs freely ingest toxic amounts of chocolate if it is left accessible. A potentially lethal dose in a 16 pound. dog is only one pound of milk chocolate. People stop eating chocolate before ingesting toxic levels.
Cardiac failure, seizures, coma, and death can result if the chocolate ingestion is not found within four to six hours and treated appropriately. The length of action of the methylxanthines is usually 12 to 36 hours. In dogs that chocolate ingestion is detected early, the prognosis is good.
If your dog has gotten into chocolate, you should note the type, estimate the amount eaten, and then call your veterinarian for recommendations. You will probably need to take your dog in for examination and evaluation of heart rate. If your veterinarian is not available, you should seek emergency care. We recommend that you keep your chocolate in an unreachable location; an ounce of prevention is better than an ounce of ingestion.
Dear Dr. Voynick,
I wanted to apprise you of Charlie’s status. Now 11 days after his stem cell procedure, he is doing fantastic! Exactly 5 days post stem cell procedure, changes started to occur. Since then, and visible on a daily basis, Charlie’s whole attitude has become increasingly more positive. He is vibrant and really, really happy. Each day he seems stronger and more easily able to get around, taking 1 – 2 walks a day on his own volition. I can’t wait to show you the pictures. His suture area is almost not even visible anymore. He has been eating with a great deal more enthusiasm. My husband and I agree that Charlie has had noticeable improvement and seems to be getting a bit “younger by the day”. He is doing the stairs more easily too and oh yes, that sore on his back paw is almost completely healed. Pretty unbelievable results overall for a 14 year old!
Hope you are very well,