Hello my beautiful readers, it’s Bella the cat here. I realize you’ve been longing to read my next blog entry, but alas, I’ve been entirely too busy to write. Keeping an eye on the clinic and grooming my white, silky fur takes up a majority of my time. Today my grooming was interrupted by the yapping of a pesky dog, Angel* (name changed to protect her identity), who came in having eaten an entire package of peanut butter and chocolate no-bake cookies. Hello, dog, chocolate is toxic to you! Duh! What were you thinking?! Chocolate toxicosis usually only happens to dogs because cats are too smart to eat chocolate. I was annoyed at first by Angel’s incessant barking, but pretty soon felt sorry for her. I checked on her between my grooming regime and saw that the doctor had to make her vomit, which she (both the dog and the doctor) hated, and then she had to get IV fluids. Angel was monitored for cardiac issues for the subsequent 12 hours. Luckily, the owner brought her into the office very soon after she’d ingested the chocolate, so the dog was treated quickly and fully recovered.
Not every dog is as lucky as Angel. The active ingredients that cause the problems are caffeine and theobromine, and an overdose can cause pancreatitis and/ or death. Symptoms of chocolate toxicosis include drinking lots of water, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, and restlessness, and can progress to agitation, nervousness, increased heart rate and respiratory rate, high blood pressure and temperature, cardiac arrhythmias, tremors, difficulty keeping balance and seizures. Treatment includes making the dog vomit with or without a stomach tube and lavage (stomach pumped out), activated charcoal to stop absorption, fluids, hospitalization, and medications to control seizures, heart problems, and fever. So, basically, you can see dogs shouldn’t be exposed to chocolate—ever! The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is (though Dr. Osborne thinks the darker the chocolate, the more delicious it is). While stinky dogs aren’t my favorite animal, I certainly don’t want any of my fur friends to get sick or die. As the season of chocolate arrives (aka Halloween or Howl-o-ween as canines refer to it), remember to keep all chocolate-related items inaccessible to pets. I’m glad Angel fully recovered, and I look forward to teasing her about it next time she visits. Hearts and licks, Bella the Cat