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Dr Pete
Dr Pete, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3009
Experience:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)
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My dog has a swollen face and rash on her stomach. she did

Customer Question

My dog has a swollen face and rash on her stomach. she did eat a small piece of chocolate last night could this be the problem? she is a 1 year old XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 8 years ago.
In a small dog like a XXXXX XXXXX as small an amount as 4 oz of milk chocolate or just 1 oz of dark chocolate can cause signs of intoxication. This is caused by ingredients found in chocolate called methylxanthines. However the signs you have described are not what we might expect. Methylxanthine poisoning will initially cause hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhea and at its worst will cause neurological sigsn (tremor, convulsions).
Should she have eaten such an amount of chocolate or exhibits the signs I've described she should be seen by a vet.
A swollen face and rash on the abdomen is more likely to be an allergic reaction or infection. Now it is still possible that she may be allergic to the chocolate but this is not due to poisoning. Allergies can be to a wide variety of things including foods, plants, pollens, dust mites and insect stings.
Because she is quite bright and eating well I would not consider this to be something that requires an emergenct assessment by a vet. However we would like to see the signs settle down within the next 12 hours. That would certainly be the case if this was an acute allergic reaction. If the cause of the allergy persists or if infection is involved (less likely) then the signs will pesrsist and she should be examined and treated accordingly.
Apart from the chocolate (which you must never give her again) you should consider if she has been fed anything different or been somewhere different just prior to the signs. If she seems in any discomfort you could dose her with the human anti-histamine medication Benadryl Allergy (diphenhydramine) at 1 mg/lb. Ensure it is not the combination product (Benadryl Allergy and Sinus).
I hope I have been of reassurance and assistance.
Kindest regards, Peter