by Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic
…but did you know that they are poisonous to dogs & other animals?
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is poisonous to dogs and other animals. Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, and therefore the more poisonous it is. White chocolate contains very little theobromine and although it is unlikely to cause theobromine poisoning, it is still very fatty and can make your dog poorly. Chocolate poisoning can initially cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but may also lead to excitability, twitching, tremors, fitting and life threatening problems with the heart.
Each year, we see dogs with chocolate poisoning increase dramatically around Christmas and Easter. During these periods take extra care to ensure that all chocolate is kept out of the reach of your dog. Although chocolate wrappers are not poisonous, they can cause an obstruction if eaten. This can be very dangerous and may require surgery to remove. Signs of an obstruction may include vomiting, lethargy, off food, not defecating or struggling to defecate.
There are many other foods that can be dangerous to dogs some of which include;
- Mouldy foods – Contain many toxins and can cause illness sometimes causing Muscle tremors and seizures
- Onions – Garlic, Leeks & shallots belong to the Allium family. These contain a substance which can damage red blood cells and can cause life threatening anemia.
- Macadamia nuts – Can cause weakness, lethargy, unsteadiness, vomiting, tremors & high temperature
- Raisins – Grapes, raisins, currents & sultanas are all toxic more so in dried forms can cause kidney failure
- Sweets & sugar – After eating lots of sugar or fats pancreatitis can develop (inflammation of the pancreas) sometimes resulting in organ failure
- Xylitol – is an artificial sweetener used in foods & also in chewing gum. Causes a healthy dogs blood sugar levels to dangerously drop with larger amounts causing liver failure
- Alcohol – Dogs are more sensitive to ethanol a small amount can cause effects, drowsiness, wobbly, in severe cases develop a low body temperature, low blood sugar, seizures and coma
- Bones – When cooked, all bones become brittle and can easily splinter. Larger pieces of bone can cause an obstruction, whilst smaller pieces may irritate the gut or even damage the stomach or intestinal wall requiring surgery.
If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, or has come into contact with potentially poisonous substances, please contact your veterinary practice immediately.
For more information about Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic click here…