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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16514
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have two dogs and they ate a bag of nestle tollhouse

Customer Question

I have two dogs and they ate a bag of nestle tollhouse chocolate chips and butterscotch chips? What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your pups got themselves in to trouble.

The butterscotch chips are high in fat and sugar, so they will lead to an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea in many dogs, they aren't technically toxic.

Semisweet chocolate can be a problem however depending upon how big the bag was, how much your pups weigh and how much each dog ingested. Semisweet has more of the toxins we worry about in chocolate compared to milk or even dark chocolate.

Signs of chocolate toxicity include drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, then hyper-excitability and an elevated heart rate.

At higher amounts we can see muscle tremors and possible seizures. A 50 pound dog would only need to eat 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate to see signs of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and 6 ounces to see an elevated and irregular heart rate, and 9 ounces could cause seizures.

If this occurred within the past couple of hours it is well worth inducing vomiting.

You can give each dog 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds of body weight soaked up with bread or a small amount of food. No more than 3 tablespoons even if they weigh more than 35 pounds.

Then take them outside and run them around to get the peroxide bubbling so they vomit.

If no vomiting in 10 minutes repeat the peroxide dose once.

If they vomit and seems to clear their stomachs I would check to see if most or all of the chocolate is present.

DO NOT let them eat their vomit.

If it has already been 2 hours it is likely the chocolate is out of their stomachs and it is probably too late to induce vomiting. At that point you cannot change things much at home, all you can do is watch for further symptoms now.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Whether or not they vomit the chocolate I would encourage you to get them to drink as much as possible and 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 the 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.

If they seem at all nauseous after the chocolate has already passed out of their stomachs it may help to with-hold food for the next 12 hours to stop intestinal spasms.

To try and settle their stomach you can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at 1/4 of a 10mg tablet per 5-10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours


2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at 1/4 of a 10mg tablet per 5-10 pounds of body weight every 24 hours

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

After their 12-24 hour food fast to decrease the symptoms of stomach upset you can feed 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 to 180 beats per minute) repetitive tremors, or seizures then they should be seen by a veterinarian on an emergency basis for treatment. They can use injectable medications to control an irregular heart rate and stop the seizures until the toxic levels fall.

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