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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14854
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 35 lbs. dogs just ate two 4 ounce bags of chocolate

Customer Question

My 35 lbs. dogs just ate two 4 ounce bags of chocolate covered apricots. What do you recommend?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 10 months ago.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am not set up to make a live call. But, I am happy to answer your question on this thread. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has it been since he ate the chocolate?

2- Type of chocolate (dark, milk, etc.)?

3- Do you have hydrogen peroxide 3%?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
White, dark, & milk cover the small apricots. I want to cancel and not be charged any amount. I do not know what to do with hydrogen peroxide as no suggestion was given.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 10 months ago.

Friend, I was going to direct you how to induce vomiting with peroxide. Do you want to continue?

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 10 months ago.

Friend, I am going to opt out so another expert can help you if you return. I can't wait any longer. If you don't want to continue contact customer service they will be able to help you with charges issues. Good night.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear about Max eating some milk chocolate covered apricots.

The good news is that although he ate quite a bit (two 4 ounce bags = 8 ounces) likely less that half of what he ate was chocolate because they were chocolate covered. White chocolate has almost none of the toxins, and although dark chocolate is twice as toxic as milk if the mix was equal it will likely work out the same as him eating all milk chocolate

A 35 pound pup would need to eat 5.25 ounces of pure milk chocolate to see symptoms of drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and almost 10 ounces of milk chocolate to see hyper-excitability and an elevated heart rate.

At higher amounts we can see muscle tremors and possible seizures.

The thing that may make him sick, and probably why he didn't eat his whole dinner is the large amount of fiber and sugar in apricots. He's likely feeling very full and somewhat nauseous.

Since it has already been 2 hours it is likely the chocolate is out of his stomach and it is probably too late to induce vomiting anyway.

At this point you cannot change things much at home, all you can do is watch him for further symptoms now.

I would encourage you to get him to drink as much as possible and to get him out to urinate frequently. Chocolate toxins are metabolized out through the kidneys and can be reabsorbed from the bladder so we don't want them to sit in his bladder for long.

In most cases mild chocolate toxicity is out of their system in 24 to 48 hours. We generally begin to see symptoms, if they eat a toxic amount, within 4 to 6 hours.

It may help to avoid further stomach upset to with-hold food for the next 24 hours to stop intestinal spasms and give the apricots time to work through.

If he seems at all nauseous to try and settle Max's stomach you can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours

These are acid reducers and should help him feel less nauseous. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if needed.

Then after his food fast to decrease the symptoms of stomach upset you can feed him a bland diet for the next couple of days. A homemade bland diet is a mix of 1/3 boiled minced white skinless chicken or lean boiled hamburger and 2/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow. Feed small meals frequently.

If you do notice a very rapid heart rate (more than 160 beats per minute in a small dog) repetitive tremors or seizures then he should be seen by a veterinarian on an emergency basis for treatment. They can use injectable medications to control his heart rate and stop the seizures until the toxic levels fall.

With all this fiber you may see some diarrhea, but the food fast and the bland diet should help correct that in a relatively short period of time. If he becomes very nauseous or has uncontrollable diarrhea it is time for him to see his veterinarian.

Best of luck with Max, let me know if you have any further questions.