If you have ever had a dog get into chocolate or any candy you know how scary that can be. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that is toxic to dogs. Sugar and fat in large quantities is also bad news for your pooch. With Halloween, Christmas and other holidays right around the corner it is good to keep in mind how dangerous candy is for dogs and make sure you store your sweets where your dog is not likely to get into them. In the unfortunate event that your dog does somehow get into your candy stash, rack of cookies cooling on the counter or the unknown wrapped chocolate gift under the tree there are a few things you need to know.
Theobromine poisoning can result from the ingestion of just 50 grams of chocolate for small dogs and 400 grams or less in average sized dogs. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate have the highest levels of theobromine but this does not mean milk chocolate will not affect your dog. Dogs can experience digestive upset such as vomiting and diarrhea. Theobromine poisoning can also cause dehydration and a slow heart rate. It can also cause excitability or anxiousness.This is why it is so important to get it out of your dog’s system quickly if ingested. For detailed information on theobromine, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine.
Owners can attempt to give their pet hydrogen peroxide orally to induce vomiting but this does not work for every dog. Going to the Vet is the best way to deal with toxic ingestion of any kind. The Veterinarian will administer apomorphine to your pet which will quickly and safely get them to vomit up their toxic snack. Most patients will be given a dose of subcuticular fluids to help prevent dehydration. If your pet is showing signs of poisoning they will need to be admitted to the hospital for further testing, treatments and observation.
Pancreatitis occurs as a result of your pet ingesting something that is very rich or abnormally high in fat, calories or sugar. Some pets are more sensitive than others and something that seems insignifigant like a small scrap of food from the table can ignite a bout of pancreatitis. Even certain medical conditions can make your dog more likely to develop pancreatitis. Pancreatitis causes severe abdominal pain and digestive upset. By all rights it is basically a very painful and expensive stomach ache. Treatment includes intravenous fluid therapy and low fat diet for several days. Most patients are admitted to the veterinary hospital for observation and will need prescription medication to help with recovery.
Talk with your kids. Explain to them that their treats can make the family dog very sick if eaten and work together to find a safe place to store them. On top of the fridge is a great place. A closed cabinet that is out of reach or a closet is also a good location.
Know where there is a 24 hour emergency Veterinary facility near you. Dogs, like children can need medical attention at any time so knowing where you can get immediate care is essential. In Arizona Sonora Veterinary Specialists have 2 locations. One facility is in Phoenix, and another in Litchfield Park. They are open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. They have many services including ultrasound and CT scan. Check out their website for more information. http://www.sonoraveterinaryspecialists.com/
Please forward this article to your friends and family to help make the holidays fun and safe for all family members, especially our beloved pets. Thank you!