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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16315
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My lab is an 11 y o female 80 pounds and my half husky half

Customer Question

My lab is an 11 y o female 80 pounds and my half husky half lab, female 70 pounds ate a box of Whitmans dark chocolate. They are thirsty and panting. I live rurally. May have eaten it 3 hours ago. I fed them dinner, rice, beans liver and some cheese before i found the empty box. How long should i be worried and do i drive an hour to s clinic... Im broke but i love my girls
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 into and ingested a box of dark chocolate. They do need to eat a certain amount to get sick, but dark chocolate is more toxic than milk or white, and so they would need to eat less.How many pounds/ounces was the box?At 70 & 80 pounds they would need to eat 4.5 & 5.18 ounces of dark chocolate respectively to see symptoms of drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and 9.1 & 10.36 ounces of dark chocolate respectively to see hyperexcitability and an elevated heart rate.At higher amounts we can see muscle tremors and possible seizures.To give you a point of reference most normal chocolate bars are 2.25 ounces. If it has possibly been less than 2-3 hours since they ingested the chocolate it is well worth inducing vomiting.They are likely panting because they are nauseous, and thirsty because chocolate toxicity causes them to be thirsty.If you choose to induce vomiting you can give each pup 3 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide soaked up with bread or a small amount of food.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 and be done I would check to see if most or all of the chocolate is present.If it has already been 3 hours it is likely the chocolate is out of the stomach 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.I would encourage you to get allow to drink as much as possible and to get them 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 their 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 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 a dose of one 10mg tablet for a 20 to 40 pounds of body weight (two 10mg tabe per pup) every 12 hoursOR2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one 20mg tablet for a 40 to 80 pounds of body weight (one 20mg tablet per pup) every 24 hoursThese are acid reducers and should help them feel less nauseous. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if needed. Then after the 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 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 their elevated 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.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pups. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****