Although Easter may be full of 4 days of delicious indulgences for us, many of these can be toxic to our pets and pose some very real dangers that all pet owners should be aware of…
So please join us for 4 days while we explain the 4 Toxins of Easter!
DAY 1: THEOBROMINE TOXICITY aka CHOCOLATE!
Yes! The days surrounding Easter are filled with this delicious sweet treat in all its forms… and it tastes as good to pets as it does to us! But unlike us, our pets are very sensitive to Theobromine (a methylxanthine) and depending on how much they eat will determine the severity of their toxicity…
The content of Theobromine (and therefore how toxic it is) is greatest in Baking Chocolate (making this the worst for pets), followed by Semisweet or Dark Chocolate and then Milk Chocolate. White Chocolate has virtually no Theobromine but it can cause Pancreatitis in pets because of its high fat content.
Theobromine ingestion and toxicity can cause:
– Vomiting & Diarrhoea (Gastrointestinal signs)
– Aggitation/ Hyperactivity
– Tremors, progressing to Seizures
– Accelerated heart rate (tachycardia) and abnormal rhythms
– Death in severe cases.
Chocolate toxicity calculators are used by vets to calculate the severity of the toxicity depending on how much chocolate (Theobromine) the pet has consumed.
The treatment for Chocolate Toxicity varies and depends on how much chocolate was eaten by the pet and when this was consumed.
1. Decontamination (inducing vomiting) is the most important treatment for pets who have ingested Chocolate as long as it is performed within 4-6 hours of the chocolate being eaten (while it is still in the stomach).
2. Activated Charcoal is a substance that can be given to pets to help reduce the absorption of Theobromine from their circulation and therefore severity of its toxic effects.
3. Symptomatic and Supportive Therapy: these include Intravenous Fluids and control of any tremors or seizures, depending on the severity of the toxicity.
Chocolate toxicity can be fatal so please, if you know that your pet has consumed any, do not wait to see if they develop clinical signs – by this time it is too late. Early detection and decontamination (vomiting) can save lives.
Are you looking for a safe alternative to give to your pets as a treat this Easter? Carob is a chocolate substitute that does not containe Theobromine and tastes… almost as good! There are delicious pet-friendly carob treats at many pet stores so please indulge your pets with these delicious alternatives!
If you have any Pet Emergencies or After-Hours Veterinary requirements, we are open 24/7 and our compassionate and experienced team of Emergency Veterinarians and Nurses are here from THURSDAY 29th March and we DO NOT CLOSE until 8am on TUESDAY 3rd April.
Not sure if you need to come down? Please give us a call: 02 6225 7257 and our friendly staff will help triage your enquiry and advise you on the best treatment for your pet.
Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, Compassionate, Experienced Emergency Veterinary care, when you need it the most.