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Small 20 lbs dog ate half a bar of dark chocolate. What

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should I do?...
Small 20 lbs dog ate half a bar of dark chocolate. What should I do?
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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11/24/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,145
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

  1. How long ago did she eat the chocolate?
  2. How many ounces was the bar?
  3. Do you have fresh (unexpired) 3% hydrogen peroxide?
  4. How is she behaving now?
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Chocolate can be toxic, but they do need to eat a certain amount to get sick.

At 20 pounds she would need to eat 1.32 ounces of pure dark chocolate to see symptoms of drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and 2.64 ounces of pure dark chocolate to see hyperexcitability and an elevated heart rate..

Chocolate is very rich, and contains lots of sugar and fats, so she may well have some nausea, vomiting and loose stools from eating the chocolate, even if she didn't eat enough for it to be truly toxic.

If she has a sensitive stomach in general, you have immediate access to fresh hydrogen peroxide, and it has been less than 2-3 hours since she ingested the chocolate it may be worth inducing vomiting.

You can give her 2 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide soaked up with bread or a small amount of food.

Then take her outside and run her around to get the peroxide bubbling so she vomits.

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

If she vomits and seems to clear her stomach and be done I would check to see if most or all of the chocolate is present.

If it has already been 3 hours or more then it is likely the chocolate is out of her 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 her for symptoms now.

If that is the case 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.

If she seems at all nauseous it may help to with-hold food for the next 12 hours to stop intestinal spasms.

To try and settle her stomach you can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of 1/2 of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 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 hour 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 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, let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ate an ounce or less. Behaving normal. Ate the choc 15 minutes ago or more. It had ground pieces of expresso beans in it.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

OK! That is extremely important!

Coffee is even more toxic than chocolate for dogs and the two together are very dangerous, as they have very similar stimualnt effects and will each magnify the effects of the other.

You need to induce vomiting as I directed above in my post.

If you do not have fresh (unexpired) peroxide on hand OR she doesn't vomit despite giving that then you need to get her to an emergency clinic to be treated.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Although she didn't eat a toxic amount of dark chocolate alone for a pup her size the dark chocolate combined with espresso beans IS likely to be toxic for her. So we need to take this ingestion very seriously.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months 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 pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Dr. Kara.

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