Risk of chocolate poisoning in dogs peaks at Christmas
21 December, 2017, 19:33
Darker chocolate contains more of the substance, and less than an ounce (28 grammes) of dark chocolate is enough to poison a 22 kilogramme (44-pound) dog. They're twice as likely during Easter.
Theobromine is a caffeine-like stimulant which can lead to an upset stomach, a racing heartbeat, dehydration, seizures and, in the most severe cases, death in dogs, the researchers said.
Grapes and raisins - These can cause kidney failure in dogs.
"Here we describe significant peaks of chocolate intoxication, most notably at Christmas and to a lesser extent Easter, presumably reflecting the enhanced availability of seasonally related chocolate such as Easter eggs, chocolate Santa Claus figurines and Christmas tree decorations", the University of Liverpool researchers wrote.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool found that between 2012 and 2017, 386 cases of chocolate poisoning involving 375 animals were reported at nearly 230 veterinary practices across the UK.
One pooch got its paws on six Chocolate Oranges and six Toblerones, while another was treated for poisoning after gulping down a hot chocolate drink.
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In all, the investigators found 386 cases from 375 dogs, meaning that some dogs had been taken to the vet for eating chocolate a few times. Theobromine is mostly harmless to people, but dogs and cats metabolize the compound much more slowly than humans do, meaning it can build up to toxic levels in their bodies, Nobel told Live Science in an email.
In most cases, the results reveal that dogs didn't consume excessive amounts of chocolate, but actually rather small amounts.
Dogs received a number of treatments for the chocolate poisoning including an activated charcoal to mop up the theobromine. The research found that pups are four times more likely to go to the veterinarian for chocolate poisoning during Christmastime than any non-holiday time of the year.
The study also found that chocolate ingestion was significantly less common in older dogs and that no specific breed is more at risk than others.
"It's important that owners are aware that chocolate is potentially toxic, especially to dogs", Radford said. Preferably, you should offer the vet a description of the type of chocolate the dog ate.
She received life-saving treatment after being rushed to the vets.
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