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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20881
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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PLEASE HELP ME!! My 4 year old dog weighs 17kg and ate 300g

Customer Question

PLEASE HELP ME!! My 4 year old dog weighs 17kg and ate 300g of dark chocolate 36 hours ago! He has been at the vet hospital overnight as he was throwing up, drinking and urinating alot and had a heart rate of 180, they phoned me 26 hrs after he consumed it and said he has thrown most of it up and his heart rate had gone back down to 134, that he seemed stable and they we're going to gove him activated charcoal to catch the rest. They than phoned me 7 hours later to update me that his heart rate had gone back up to 182 and he seemed very excitable and was rolling around and jumping about so they are a little concerned but that he has eaten and drank something today! He is a very playful dog and is in his element when other animals are around so i usually wouldn't be too worried but i am so scared of losing him!! Does anyone with experience know if it sounds like he is on the mend? Thank u
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Have the vets noted whether Jax's heart rhythm is normal despite being fast?
Did they start him on IV fluids?
Any nausea medication for the vomiting?
Has he had any more vomiting since when he was first admitted?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thank you for your response. They didn't say whether his heart rhythm was normal, just that they were concerned it had risen so much since this morning. Is that a safe heart rate for dogs when they are excitied? As i know he would be as he is a very friendly and playful dog. He was throwing up when he was admitted and it looked like melted chocolate, they also gave him something to make him throw up. He has been for a poo since they gave him the activated charcoal aswell and the vet said it was black, is that a good sign? They are going to give him nausea medication tonight, they have said we can visit him in a few hours time. Do you think he will be able to come home with us?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome,
If the vet didn't mention it was abnormal, then I would assume that it is. In regards ***** ***** safe heart rate for dogs, this is size/breed dependent. Generally speaking, we want it around 60-140 beats per minute in the resting dog. But smaller or toy breeds can reach 180 bpm when excited and not necessarily be dangerous. So, its a bit high for his breed, but if that rate was taken when he was bouncing around and not when resting, it may not be that worrying.
Now the did absolutely right by giving an injection to make him vomit (apomorphine). It isn't nice for the dog but it makes sure we get as much chocolate out as possible. Because less in means less to absorb and less toxicity risk. Otherwise, I would note that the black stool isn't a good or bad sign. Since he has had activated charcoal, it just stains the feces. So, when treated with that, it just means that it is working its way through his gut and has likely been busy absorbing as much theobromine (the chocolate toxin) as possible.
Otherwise, I am glad to hear they are planning to give him an anti-nausea treatment. This is important at this stage since we are well passed the window where we want to induce vomiting to get chocolate out. Instead, we are very much at a stage where we want to stop vomiting to ensure he doesn't become dehydrated or weak from not being able to eat.
Now further to all of this, I do suspect they will have him on IV fluids even though you did not mention it. The reason I assume so is because that would be another important part of treating this toxicity. The fluids keep him hydrated despite the vomiting but also help flush the toxin out of his body quicker.
Finally, in regards ***** ***** taking him home, I suspect he will need to stay for one more night. Especially if they are concerned about his heart rate being a wee bit up and if he is only just starting the anti-nausea treatment. And just to note, severe chocolate toxicities (which his dose was), can take 72 hours to totally settle. So, we are not out of the woods yet but from what you have told me, I am (cautiously, of course) optimistic that he will get through this. He has shown none of those severe danger signs (ie tremors, seizures, collapse or breathing abnormalities) that we can see with high doses. So, I suspect he may need to be flushed out with fluids a bit more and they may want to make sure his stomach is totally settled, but I would suspect he will likely be able to go home in the next day or so as long he keeps being bright and shows no more signs of adverse effects.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

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