It was mentioned in a previous post about poisoning, that Easter is often associated with lilies. Really though, aside from being a significant celebration on the christian calendar, Easter has become synonymous with one thing - chocolate, lots of chocolate.
A quick google search will show that for people, eating chocolate can have health benefits on blood pressure, blood flow and cardiovascular disease among others (yay!). These benefits are directly related to the cocoa content in the chocolate. This is the complete opposite for dogs and cats!
The higher the cocoa content (ie. the darker the chocolate), the higher the methylxanthine levels in the chocolate and it is these compounds that are a cause for concern in our pets. At low levels, methylxanthines can cause hyperactivity, diarrhoea and vomiting. Higher levels can induce tremors, pancreatitis and seizures, while collapse and death may result in extreme cases.
Prevention and what to do if they do eat some
So don't feed your pet chocolate, easy. Unless you have kids or mind lapses or a cat that can jump......
Realistically dogs (and to a lesser extent cats) will continue to get access to chocolate and if that occurs call the vet immediately.
If possible it would also be helpful if you:
- Keep the packet and try to work out how much has been consumed.
- Find out if it is dark, milk or white chocolate
Treatment for chocolate poisoning generally involves inducing vomiting and supportive treatment. The sooner this is instigated, the less absorption that has occurred and the more likely treatment will be successful.
Happy Holidays from the CAVH Team!