It is said to be anti-depression, antioxidant and sometimes even aphrodisiac. It is also known to cause liver attacks and make us gain weight if we abuse it! We are obviously talking about chocolate.
During the holidays, watch out for chocolate poisoning!
And it may be for its virtues or simply for its delicious taste that many people love that we offer and enjoy during the holidays. While consuming chocolate in moderation is good for us humans, it can be extremely dangerous for our four-legged friends!
Cocoa, an ingredient in chocolate, contains theobromine. It is a plant alkaloid that mainly stimulates the nervous system and the heart.
For our doggies, the toxicity of chocolate depends on the quantity ingested:
10 to 30 grams of pure cocoa or dark chocolate per kilogram of body weight of the animal is sufficient to trigger poisoning,
200 to 250 grams of powdered or milk chocolate per kilo have the same effect.
Symptoms that may appear in case of intoxication are of the order:
digestive: vomiting and diarrhoea during the first hours after ingestion,
cardio-respiratory: increases in the rate of the heartbeat and in the rate of respiration initially followed by disturbances of the heart rhythm,
neurological: restlessness, anxiety, prostration are the first signs after chocolate ingestion, followed by ataxia (stiffness of the muscles), convulsions and coma.
Other symptoms like urine loss and fever can also occur.
Death of the animal can occur within 48 hours of ingestion, depending on the amount eaten by the animal. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Unfortunately, there is no antidote, and you can only treat symptoms caused by intoxication.
If your dog ate chocolate:
do not panic,
try to assess the amount and nature of the chocolate swallowed,
contact your veterinarian or the on-call veterinarian directly.
If your pet is a foodie and a thief (which is the case with many of our companions), keep the chocolate out of reach of its muzzle at all times! Avoid placing the box of chocolate on your coffee table but prefer to store it high up or in a container that your pooch will not be able to open.