DYK: Chocolate Poisoning

chocolateDid you know chocolate is one of the most common poisoning see in our pets? The Animal Poison Control Center receive thousands of calls about chocolate poisoning each year. This is not surprising since chocolate is prevalent in our households. The amount of chocolate increases around Valentine Day in our homes increasing the risk to our pets. The signs of chocolate poisoning range from gastrointestinal upsets ( diarrhea and vomiting) to neurologic (tremors and seizures) and cardiac issues (extremely high blood pressure and racing heart rate). In rare cases death may occur. The key to chocolate poisoning is the size of the dog and the type of chocolate. Clearly the smaller the dog the the greater the risk of ingested a poisonous quanity. The other key factor is the type of chocolate. The darker and more bitter the chocolate the more dangerous the chocolate. For example a twenty five pound dog would have to consume fifty pounds of white chocolate to see chocolate poisoning. On the the other end of the scale the same dog would need to only consume 0ne-half ounce of Baker’s chocolate (dark, bitter chocolate to be poisoned. It is important when concern about potential chocolate poisoning to know appoximately volume consumed and type of chocolate. When in doubt of volume it is better to seek treatment than wait and see what happen. Of course, the best treatment is to avoid chocolate poisoning is to keep it safely out of reach. Most poisoning occur because dog got into chocolate left on some type of table or counter.