Species: Dog Breed: mini dachshund and l Age: 1-2 years
I have an 85 pound lab, an 8 pound mini dachshund and a 12 pound mini dachshund. We just moved and today, they got into a box of pantry items and pulled out a small jar of nutella, a jar of betty crocker chocolate chip cake frosting, and some chocolate fondue. There were other things they ate, but the chocolate is what I am most concerned with because we cannot tell what dog ate which and how much each dog ate. What should I look for and/or do? The smaller mini dachshund has a liver shunt and is on meds - i do not know if this makes a difference or not.
Oh my goodness. What a horrible feast they must have had.
I have two concerns for the dogs. The first is for chocolate toxicity and the second is for the effects of having so much sugar.
I'm not worried about the amount of chocolate in nutella and the frosting. There's likely almost no real chocolate in these. Do you know what kind of chocolate is in the fondue? I'm not an expert in fondue at all. If this is made of dark chocolate, or even worse, baker's chocolate then there is a concern.
I created a chocolate toxicity calculator for situations like this. You will need to guestimate how many ounces each dog could have eaten and also enter in their weights. Then you enter in whether it was dark, milk, etc. chocolate. The calculator will tell you whether there is cause for concern for chocolate toxicity.
The signs of chocolate toxicity start with hyperactivity. But, hyperactivity could happen with the amount of sugar that they ate. Then, chocolate toxicity causes tremors and seizures and a very fast heart rate. If you think you are seeing tremors or twitching at all, then it's important to get the dog(s) to a vet for treatment of chocolate toxicity.
The other concern is over the amount of sugar that was eaten. This can potentially cause pancreatitis which is a very serious condition causing abdominal pain and vomiting. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some vomiting and diarrhea in any of the dogs. But if there is extreme vomiting (like several times an hour) or if any of the dogs seem like they are in pain and can't get comfortable at all, then a vet visit is a good idea. Pancreatitis can be serious.
Most likely though you will see some diarrhea and possibly they could be either hyperactive OR they could be a little bit depressed because of tummy upset.
I would recommend that you don't give them any food for 12-24 hours depending on how they are feeling.
Regarding the shunt doggie, it's hard to say whether there would be a greater risk or concern. I suppose if this one got pancreatitis it could be a little bit more serious than the others. But really, I don't think there is that much more risk than the other dogs.
I always recommend following your gut as well. If you just feel that something is wrong, then it's better to be safe than sorry and have a vet take a look.
If you have trouble figuring out the chocolate toxicity calculator let me know and I can help.
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Dr. 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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