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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
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Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My 25 lb. Keeshoun just ate a small piece of chocolate cake.

Resolved Question:

My 25 lb. Keeshoun just ate a small piece of chocolate cake. She seems fine but I am very worried because I know that chocolate is bad. I gave her a teaspoon of peroxice to induce vomiting but she hasn't vomited. Should I take her to the vet now?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the question,

Good news! This is a common situation with dogs, while chocolate can be toxic to dogs they have to eat quite a lot, probably very much more than your dog ate before you would see signs of toxicity. It is very unlikely that a small piece of chocolate cake would produce any symptoms of any sort in a 25 pound dog. I say this because :

The rule of thumb which I personally apply is that with dark { semi sweet } chocolate mild signs of toxicity can occur when 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when one ounces per pound of body weight is swallowed. If you estimate your Dog's weight as being in the region of 25 lb then you can see that your dog would have to swallow around 7.5 ozs { Around a 1/2 pound } of pure dark chocolate before any symptoms would occur. Milk chocolate is in fact very much less toxic than dark chocolate by the way, another factor would be that often the main ingredient of chocolate cakes is not in fact chocolate at all.

I am telling you the following just for your information as your dog ate so little you need not do anything and need not be concerned.

The symptoms of chocolate poisoning would include vomiting and diarrhoea as well as frequent urination, and restlessness in the early stages. This can then progress to cardiac dysfunction, tremors and fits. Of course you should call your vet without delay if any symptoms appear.

Having said that most dogs with chocolate poisoning will recover within 24 to 48 hours, particularly if serious symptoms do not occur. There is no specific treatment for chocolate poisoning only symptomatic treatment.

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
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