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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 16 pound Havanese ate, approximately, 70 grams of dark

Customer Question

My 16 pound Havanese ate, approximately, 70 grams of dark chocolate this morning at 8 a.m. Now, at 4 p.m, she is still very excitable. She is almost 3 years old, and her name is Lucy.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Lucy ingested 2.3 ounces of dark chocolate. A 16 lb dog might become seriously intoxicated with the theobromine in chocolate if she ingested over 5.3 ounces of the dark chocolate (or even less if the dark chocolate contained 70-85% cocoa). Her agitation is consistent with theobromine toxicosis and it can last for up to 24 hours because the half-life of theobromine is 17.5 hrs. It's too late to induce emesis as a treatment but you can dose her with activated charcoal at the dose on the label of an activated charcoal product found in your local pharmacy. It's usually 5 mL/lb of a suspension made from 2 grams of activated charcoal suspended in 10 mL of water. This is best administered with a small poultry baster placed between Lucy's cheek teeth and cheek. It's an incredibly messy procedure so best done outside. The charcoal can adsorb any theobromine still remaining in Lucy's GI tract. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your great reply. I was able to get some activated charcoal
from the pet store. They recommend I put it in pill packets. This seems like
a good idea. But how much should I give her. She does seem a little calmer
now.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

The dose is 5 mL/lb (80 mL/2.7 ounces for Lucy) of a suspension made from 2 grams of activated charcoal suspended in 10 mL of water. I can't imagine pushing down pill pockets containing 16 grams of of activated charcoal - the amount you would put into a suspension and administered as I described above!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lucy ate approximately 15 grams of activated charcoal in peanut butter. She did
not hesitate eating. What should we expect next?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Yum! Good work! You can expect some really disgusting diarrhea but it sounds as if she's remissing nicely and is out of danger. I have to leave my computer for a couple of hours but promise to reply as soon as I return if need be.

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