Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Is Your Yorkie Ate Chocolate?
Chocolate and Dogs
There's so many resources scattered all around the net, telling you that chocolate is dangerous food for dog. While it's true, because chocolate contain theobromine (which is dangerous for dogs) the amazing truth is you shouldn't worry too much about it.
The theobromine inside chocolate is a family of caffeine (xanthine) and theophyline. Xanthine has diuretic effect (like alcohol, this substance will makes you dry). This substance also affects nervous system causing hyperactivity and restlessness. The diuretic effect can cause vomiting and diarrhea. This can cause a real trouble for your Yorkie, but only when your Yorkie consume it in poisonous level.
The toxic reaction can start when your dogs ate more than 100mg of theobromine/kilograms of their body weight. However, this is not a fixed measure. Some dogs shows poisoning even before reach this toxic level because the dog has more sensitive digestion, while some other dogs can ate up to 1,5 ounce/ kilograms body weight before they show any sign of poisoning.
Second measure is the chocolate concentration, some chocolate like Milk chocolate only contain 44 mg of theobromine/oz, while Semisweet chocolate contain higher level of theobromine (about 150mg/oz), and the highest level is the Baker's chocolate (390mg/oz). So the rough estimation about safe level to feed your dog chocolate is about 2 Oz of Milk chocolate/kilogram body weight, 0.66 Oz of Semisweet chocolate/kilogram bodyweight, and 0.25 Oz of Baker's chocolate/kilogram bodyweight.
While there is no way to treat chocolate poisoned dog, you can help the dog not to get poisoned by performing some emergency treatment. The emergency treatment should be done before the theobromine poisoning your dog. There is some time (about few hours) before the chocolate start the reaction, so you must act fast.
A good way to help your dog that just ate too much chocolate is inducing vomiting. Vomiting will remove most "undigested" chocolate and reduce the risk of poisoning. But this will also remove other food and fluid, this makes your dog won't feel very good after induce vomiting.
To induce vomiting, you can use Ipecac syrup. This syrup is available on most OTC drugstore. Just use two teaspoon of Ipecac syrup for a Yorkie (or other small breed) or three teaspoons for larger dog. The Ipecac syrup is cheap and available for purchase without prescription.
To reduce the risk of dehydration, you should give Activated Charcoal mixed with some water. The dosage for Yorkie is about 1 teaspoon and 2 teaspoon for dog that bigger than 25lbs. The active charcoal will prevent the bloodstream to absorb more poison.
This will add two items in your emergency kit, the Ipecac syrup and the Active Charcoal. Both are cheap non-prescribed drugs and can easily found in OTC drug store. So it'll be better if you prepare it today.
Summing it up
Letting your dog to eat chocolate is not dangerous, but you should beware of the addiction effect. Chocolate is addictive, and once your dog taste it, they'll probably want more. If somehow your dog already addicted to chocolate, make sure you always control how much your dog eat chocolate. Better yet, never let your dog to taste any chocolate.
The emergency drug to induce vomiting is cheap, but should be done as soon as possible. The chocolate poisoning reaction can start anywhere from 4-6 hours after consumption. So you better have these two emergency drugs for your “chocolate sucker” dog.