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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20632
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 name is ***** ***** and my large dog ingested a bag of

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** ***** and my large dog Nelson ingested a bag of mixed and dark chocolates yesterday and seems to still be having some mild affects from it. I am unable to get a veteraniary appt but I was told charcoal would be very helpful for him. He is a 11 year old Weimaraner with aging progression. This morning he appears weak when walking which is not uncommon but concerning and he is trembling slightly but does not show any strong distress.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Nelson does already take anti seizure medicine as well but he is sleeping comfortably now I just wasn't sure if some charcoal would help in the digestion. We do have a bottle of charcoal from a local whole foods store in our house as we speak.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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

How much does he weigh?

What size (grams or ounces) was the bag?

How many hours has it been since ingestion?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He weighs 76 lbs the bag of chocolate was 16 ounces and he digested it 15 hours ago
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now that level of chocolate ingestion is a moderate level toxicity. Therefore, we'd expect GI upset (appetite loss,vomiting, nausea, diarrhea) but are running the risk of more severe signs (ie changes to the heart/breathing rate, confusion, tremors, seizures). Just to note, we can see those more severe signs arise within the 36 hours post ingestion of chocolate. Furthermore, a dog with a low seizure threshold naturally could be more prone to developing the neurological side effects of chocolate ingestion.

With all this in mind, we do need to tread with care. In regards ***** ***** activated charcoal. its usually best when use in the first 8 hours after they eat chocolate but you can still try it here. For activated charcoal, we tend to give 1-4 grams (do note that is grams and not milligrams, so if you have the low dose charcoal you may need to open quite a few capsules to get that drug binding dose) 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). So, that is something to try just now.

Otherwise, it will be a case of close monitoring for any progression of signs over the next 12-24 hours and supportive care that are our focuses. Further to the charcoal, we can try to offset the GI signs with 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. And if we see any nausea, then we can treat with an antacid. Common OTC options we can use here would be 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). These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption and of course you want to double check with your vet before use if your wee one has any know health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Overall, we do need to tread with care here. It was quite a significant dose, he is an at risk dog, and we are a bit late on using the charcoal to prevent any adverse issues. Still, we can try it here and use supportive care as we monitor him closely. If he settles, we are happy and keep monitoring for the 24 hours to come. But any progression of weakness or tremors/seizures and we'd need to have him to the vet for IV fluids +/- symptomatic care to get him through the next day.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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