So my pet just ate chocolate....What do I do?
With the holidays over, please make sure that your delicious leftover chocolate is beyond your pet's reach. Amy Breton, CVT, VTS (ECC) and emergency nurse extraordinaire, explains what happens when your pet ingests chocolate.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to pets. Caffeine is also present in most types of chocolate and can also be a toxic component, but in much smaller amounts than theobromine.
Theobromine and caffeine effects on the body:
Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant
Cardiovascular stimulant (elevated heart rate)
Increase blood pressure (mild)
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Pancreatitis (can occur days later)
Generally the pet can be seen panting, vomiting, shaking, running around and not settling down. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Therefore, a single bite of baker's chocolate can be deadly for pets. Conversely the pet would need more than a bite of white chocolate in order for it to produce a toxic effect. This is why when your pet gets into chocolate it's important to know what kinds and how much.
As soon as your pet ingests chocolate you should contact a pet poison control number to find out if the amount and kind is toxic for them. One of the best pet poison controls centers is ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
If you or someone you know believes that their animal is in need of immediate medical attention, please call VESCONE at 781.684.8387. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.