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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16303
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 16 lb. dog ate two small rectangles of Hershey's dark

Customer Question

My 16 lb. dog ate two small rectangles of Hershey's dark chocolate about 5 minutes ago. What should I do?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

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

If Buddy just had 2 small rectangles, this is just a low dose toxicity and GI upset (vomiting, diarrhea, etc) would be our main concerns here. The dose is small enough we'd not expect any more harmful signs.

With this in mind and since he had this only a wee while ago, we have a few options. First, we can choose to induce vomiting now. To do so at home, you can administer 3% hydrogen peroxide orally at a dose of 1ml per pound. (2 teaspoons per 10 pounds of body weight). You can give it via dropper, syringe, turkey baster – we just want to get it in. After giving this orally, move the abdomen around or get your wee one walking about to get things mixing. This should usually lead to vomiting. If it is unsuccessful after 10 minutes then it can be repeated twice more. And if we still have no vomiting, then you'd need to consider seeing your local vet (or ER vet) so that apomorphine (a very strong injectable emetic) can be administered just get this out of the stomach and avoid any adverse issues.

As well or alternatively, you can also consider administering activated charcoal at this stage. This is available over the counter from the pharmacy (ask for the high strength version, not the one for gas) and works by binding any remaining material in the stomach. For activated charcoal, we tend to give 1-4 grams per pound 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 is absorbed and reduce the intoxication risk here.

Finally, after the above or if you choose to just monitor, we do want to try to address any potential GI upset here for the next 24-48 hours. To do so, you can consider offering a light diet option for a few days. Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Ideally, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep the stomach settled. Further to this, we can also treat with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. Ones we can use here include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid) or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac). Whichever you use, we'd give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption and of course double check with your vet before use if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Overall, this is a low dose for Buddy even at his weight and only mild signs would be expected. So, you can use one of the above options just now to either get him to bring this back up or to offset the GI upset we may see over the next 48hours.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.
Hi Lisa,

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

nekovet