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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16155
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 30 lb cocker spaniel mix ate about 2/3 of a 10.8 oz

Customer Question

My 30 lb cocker spaniel mix ate about 2/3 of a 10.8 oz package of dark chocolate peanut M&M's about 10 hours ago. (The label says the chocolate content is "semisweet".) She's been very thirsty and drinking way more water than usual. Nose is warm. In general she seems okay, although about an hour ago, for about 20 minutes or so, she seemed lethargic with fast breathing, elevated heart rate, and a bit of trembling. Then she perked up, went outside, did normal poo and pee, rolled in the grass, and scouted for rabbit droppings.
Our vet is only open for standard services (no close monitoring available) and closest emergency vet clinic is 25 miles away. I'd like to know if we should monitor her at home or get her straightaway to the clinic, and if there's anything we can do to mitigate the chance of serious harm.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

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

Are her gums pink or pale/white?
Can you take a breathing rate and a heart rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds +multiply that by 6, then do the same for the heart rate but obviously while feeling the heart beat)?

Any tremors?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Gums pink, breathing fast with panting intermittently around 90 and heart rate about 100
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
A little trembling during lethargy an hour or so ago, otherwise none
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I do have to note that even though these were peanut M+M's, the dose she has had is one that can cause severe signs. Still, I am glad to see that that heart rate is within normal limits here and that you haven't had any other signs associated with this toxicity. Now as long as her gums are pink, we'd not be panicked about the breathing rate (since those pink gums tell us that she is getting adequate oxygen and that this is therefore related to the chocolate toxin) but want to keep a close eye on her over the next 24 -36 hours (since these signs usually can last a few days).

In regards ***** ***** at 10 hours post ingestion, we are limited in what can be done at home. We are past points where we can induce vomiting and even activated charcoal treatment will be of little benefit here. The only options is to keep her calm/quiet, keep stimulus to a minimum (to avoid over stimulation and possible seizures) and encourage her to drink to flush this out. Otherwise, if we did have her to the vet, the main treatment they'd use at this stage is IV fluids to flush this out as quickly as possible.

Overall, this is a high dose but her signs sound to be quite mild just now. Since it has been 10 hours, we'd hope that we are seeing the worst of this for her already. And in that case, we can monitor at this point but if we do see the heart rate >140 bpm or if she does develop further signs (mental depression, tremors, or seizures) then those would be signs we'd want her to the ER vet for IV fluids to clear this faster for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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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 as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you! We'll keep monitoring her and watch for the more serious symptoms.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

That sounds like a good plan of action and hopefully we are at peak effect for her and will see this settle in the next 24 hours.

Take care,

Dr. B.

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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 as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
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