How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19640
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
60269376
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog ate about 3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate 2 hours ago.

Customer Question

my dog ate about 3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate 2 hours ago. She is 14 lbs and is showing no symptoms. She has had one normal bowel movement since eating. I'm just wondering how long it would take for her to show symptoms if she's going to have a problem.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


Now as I am sure you can appreciate, chocolate ingestion can be dangerous to our dogs. How much so depends on a number of factors. Now if she had 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and is only 14lbs, then we do have to appreciate that this is a severe toxicity and adverse signs –both mild GI and severe ones --are a real risk here. Specifically, with doses this high we will often see GI signs (vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, drooling, etc) within 2-4 hours post ingestion. Further to that, we do also have the risk of this toxicity causing her an irregular/fast heart rate, abnormal breathing, tremors and even seizures (which can appear up to 12-36 hours post chocolate intoxication). So, even though we are already 2 hours post ingestion without signs, the risk is still very serious.

Now if it has been a few hours ago, then we are getting passed a stage where inducing vomiting (How To) will be of benefit. Still if it has only been 2 hours, I would still try at this stage. Otherwise, we need to switch approaches and use activated charcoal (How To) from the pharmacy to bind any remaining chocolate in her stomach. For activated charcoal, we tend to give 1-4 grams per pound is given every 8 hrs. This can be mixed with food to be fed or with water to syringe feed (do note that it stains, so keep it away from white carpets/clothes). This will just limit how much she absorbs and reduce the intoxication risk here.

Otherwise, since this dose is so high, it would be ideal to consider getting her vet involved. They will be able to put her on IV fluids to flush the chocolate toxin (theobromine) out of her system before it can cause any lasting harm. Furthermore, they can use the above to decontaminate and give anti-vomiting treatment by injection to keep any GI signs at bay.

Overall, this is a high dose toxicity for Zoey. So, even if she is well so far, it is still a worry. Therefore, in this case, it would be best to be cautious at this stage. Therefore, do consider inducing vomiting and treating with activated charcoal to limit her risk here. But if you can not for any reason or she did start vomiting (due to chocolate toxin absorption), then we'd need to think about getting her to the vet for IV fluids and supportive care to reduce the harm this high dose could cause her.

In this situation, just in case you do wish to see an emergency vet, you can check HERE and @ http://www.vetlocator.com/.



I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Joye,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Zoey. How is everything going?

nekovet