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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16696
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog ate a chocalate bar while we were outside. What should

Customer Question

My dog ate a chocalate bar while we were outside. What should we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that your girl ate a chocolate bar tonight. Chocolate can be toxic for dogs but they need to eat a certain amount per pound of body weight to get sick, and milk chocolate is less toxic than dark chocolate.
For example a 20 pound pup would need to eat 3 ounces of milk chocolate to see symptoms of drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and almost 6 ounces of milk chocolate to see hyper-excitability and an elevated heart rate.
At higher amounts we can see muscle tremors and possible seizures.
If you can give me more information then I can tell you how worried you need to be and how you can help her.
How much does your girl weigh?
What kind of chocolate did she eat?
How many ounces did she eat? (a regular sized candy bar is 2 to 2.25 ounces)
Was the chocolate bar all chocolate (like a Hershey's bar) or a mixed candy bar (like a Snicker's bar)?
How long ago did she eat the chocolate?
How is she behaving now?
Any chronic health problems?
Does she tend to have a sensitive stomach?
Thanks for your patience with all of my questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
I see that you have gone off line. I will give you some general information. Please let me know if you have specific questions based upon my response.
If it has already been 2 hours it is likely the chocolate is out of her stomach and it is probably too late to induce vomiting.
At this point you cannot change things much at home, all you can do is watch her for further symptoms now.
I would encourage you to get her to drink as much as possible and to get her 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 her 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 with-hold food for the next 12 hours to stop intestinal spasms.
If she seems at all nauseous to try and settle her stomach you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and should help her feel less nauseous. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if needed.
Then after her 12 hours food fast to decrease the symptoms of stomach upset you can feed her 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 she should be seen by a veterinarian on an emergency basis for treatment. They can use injectable medications to control her heart rate and stop the seizures until the toxic levels fall.
Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.