Dog ate chocolate?

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Dog ate dark chocolate candy.

Species: Dog
Breed: Cavalier King Charle
Age: 2-5 years
Bo ate an 8 oz. package of See's chocolate brittle (12 one inch pieces of toffee covered with dark chocolate) about 5 hours ago. He is drinking a great deal of water and, during a walk, vomited. He has since vomited again. He is not hyperactive. Rather he is somewhat lethargic. Should he be seen?

Related Articles written by Dr. Marie:

Chocolate Toxicity Calculator
Can my dog eat this?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there. I'll need a little bit more information in order to figure this out.

Do you know roughly how much Bo weighs?

If you had to guess, how much of the candies are made up of chocolate? Would each piece be about half chocolate? One quarter?

When he vomited, was there chocolate in the vomit?

Is he doing any tremoring/shaking that you can see?

Do his pupils look dilated?

Thanks!

Dr. Marie.



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Customer reply:

He weighs 16-17 pounds

The chocolate is merely a coating over the toffee.

The first time it contained some visible pieces of the candy. Since then, it is brownish liquid.

No shaking, but panting. However we went for an hour-long walk.

His pupils do jot appear to be dilated.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK, thanks for that info.

So, I put a few figures into the chocolate toxicity calculator.

Let's say that there were 2 oz of dark chocolate in the candy. When I plug into the calculator a 16 lb dog eating 2 oz of dark chocolate it tells me the level of potential toxicity is severe.

Now, if it was just one ounce the toxicity level is mild.

This makes decision making hard because we can't tell exactly how much chocolate the dog ate.

Most of the time, packaged candy like this has low quality chocolate, even when dark. If Bo ate 8 oz of pure dark chocolate, then I would be very concerned. But, my guess is that this is closer to 1 oz of chocolate, if even that.

At this point, 5 hours after ingestion, the vet would likely simply keep Bo for observation. So, I will tell you some things to look for and if you see these then I would take him in:

-If he starts to have any tremors, shaking or possible seizures he needs to go in (but this is quite unlikely.)
-See if you can measure his heart rate. You should be able to put your hand on the left side of his chest behind his elbow and count how many beats there are in a minute. This number should be well below 140. If it's above 140 beats in a minute then I'd take him in.
-If he has continued vomiting and really is not feeling well, then I'd take him in. The concern here is not for chocolate toxicity but for pancreatitis because of the fat/sugar intake.
-If your gut is just telling you that something is not right.

Most likely he will feel a little off because of the high sugar intake. You may want to skip dinner with him tonight (unless he seems totally normal by then.)

I hope he does ok!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

His heart rate appears less than 140 but uncomfortable. We will sit tight for now. Thanks!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sounds like a good plan!



Customer reply:

One last question-- he has vomited 4 times within 70 minutes. The volume and frequency are declining. Any thoughts on how many more times we should wait before having him seen?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

4 times I'm not too worried about. If it keeps up a couple of times an hour for a few more hours then I'd go in.



Customer reply:

Thanks!


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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