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Saturday, 23 August 2008

How to Diagnose Dog Chocolate Symptoms

The problem, according to veterinary experts, is that eating a speck of chocolate leads a dog to crave for more. It can mean that your dog will jump at an opportunity to get any type of chocolate, not knowing that certain chocolates are more lethal than other types. Larger amounts of chocolate, particularly of the most toxic type, can bring about epileptic seizures in some dogs, and in all dogs, can kill.

Cocoa beans that are used in the chocolate production contain theobromine which can be toxic for your dog. Metabolize of theobromine in dog is very slow so it can stay in the bloodsteam for many hours which can affect and interfere with the central nervous system causing heart and kidneys problems.

As time passes, more theobromine will be absorbed into the blood stream which will now affects the central nervous system causing heart rate to increase, serious muscle twitching, a rise in blood pressure and hyperactivity. For worst case the dog may have heart arrhythmia, seizures, abnormally high body temperature or hyperthermia and death.

The symptoms of theobromine poisoning can be clearly seen within 4 - 24 hours after chocolate has been consumed by your dog. The early signs of chocolate symptoms that can be seen externally are excessive thirst for water, vomiting, urination increased, diarrhea and restless.

The danger from chocolate consumption varies on the size and health of your dog, quantity of theobromine eaten, and sensitivity to poisonous substances which varies for each type of dog.

Holidays are especially dangerous times, when large quantities of candy and other chocolate treats may be found in the home. Chocolate has a tempting taste that pets and owners alike can enjoy. Since our dogs are often considered members of the family, it is natural to wish to share our treats. But this is one treat that should be kept out of his or her reach.

Another fact that must be considered is that the quantity of theobromine varies in different types of chocolate. Some have small amount of theobromine; other types have a large amount and still another type contains an amount that is somewhere in between. For example white chocolate has the least amount of theobromine: 1 mg per ounce. Far on the other side of the spectrum is baking chocolate, which has a huge 450 mg of theobromine per ounce! Hot chocolate, 12 mg of theobromine per ounce; milk chocolate, 60 mg/oz; and up there near baking chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate with 260 mg/oz.

Knowing which chocolate is the most toxic is important, but leaves one wondering how much must be eaten to poison a dog. The list below should be helpful. Maybe you can post somewhere on your refrigerator?

• White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight. It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20-pound dog, 125 pounds for a 10-pound dog.
• Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20-pound dog; one-half pound for a 10-pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate. It would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxic level.
• Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight. One-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is toxic to a 20-pound dog; 1/6 pound for a 10-pound dog.
• Baking chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight. Two one-ounce squares of bakers' chocolate is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one ounce for a 10-pound dog.
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