Friday, February 23, 2007

Can Your Dog Die of Chocolate?

 
Friday's Urban Legend: PARTLY TRUE

Will your dog die if it eats chocolate? No, not unless it eats a lot of chocolate. It's true that chocolate contains theobromine and in high doses this can be lethal to dogs. However, according to an article in Scientific American (Fact or Fiction: Chocolate Is Poisonous to Dogs) ...
A small dog should be belly-up after eating a handful M&M's, at least according to conventional wisdom. But watching "Moose," a friend's five-pound Chihuahua, race around a living room after his sweet snack makes one wonder: Is chocolate truly poisonous to dogs? ....

The hazard, however, is probably overblown, says Tim Hackett, a veterinarian at Colorado State University. Chocolate's danger to dogs depends on its quantity and quality. Large dogs can usually handle a small amount of chocolate whereas the same helping could cause problems for Moose and his pint-size kin....

Around every confection-centered holiday—Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas—at least three or four dogs are hospitalized overnight in the animal medical center at Colorado State. But in 16 years as an emergency and critical care veterinarian, Hackett has seen just one dog die from chocolate poisoning, and he suspects it may have had an underlying disease that made it more vulnerable to chocolate's heart-racing effect.
It's probably better to be safe than sorry. If you have a dog then it's a good idea to remove all chocolate from the house. If you have a dog and a wife/girlfriend then you have to make a hard choice.

50 comments:

  1. "My wife said it was either her and the chocolate or the dog. I'm going to miss her."

    Don't tell my wife that joke. It rapidly loses its humor when she reads it and the sofa isn't that comfortable.

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  2. My grandmother, who didn't know about theobromine and dogs until I told her, had happily fed all her dogs with tidbits of chocolate. On the other hand, I once saw a TV vet show with a poisoned dog, and he was a real sick puppy.

    Now, I wouldn't have a problem choosing, because I love chocolate! (And incidentally, cats.) My hard choice would be whether I need to go out to buy more chocolate or let the girl go...

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  3. My dog (an 85 pound black lab) managed to eat a quart of hot cocoa powder. She was a little twitchy but didn't suffer any ill effects.

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  4. I always gave chocolate to my dogs, sometimes A LOT! - I didn't know then that it was poisonous to them - and they never had problems. I mean ever... They all died of old age (15, 16 and 18 y-o). My German Shepherd used to eat a lot of it too despite his pancreas problem (from birth - didn't produce enough enzymes); he died this year at age 15!

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  5. I don't know about chocolate, but I've read that ibuprofen can be lethal for a dog.

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  6. My parents came home one time to find their Scottie had eaten a bunch of Hershey's Kisses. She ended up just running around the house like she was on crack. I think she might have thrown up after that. So yeah, chocolate isn't like taking cyanide, but it's still probably not the best thing a dog can have either.

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  7. Oh, there's hardly enough chocolate in conventional candy to harm a dog. They're mostly sugar, milk and fat. You have to feed fido pharmaceutical grade chocolate if you want to kill him.

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  8. "pharmaceutical grade chocolate"

    Now why to I think my phamacist would look at me funny? :-) Yeah, cheapo chocolate is presumably less dangerous. My impression is that the effect is basically a liver "hit", so if it's not too bad, they could resist or recover from it. I once read in a pet-care book the warning: "a 10-ounch bar of chocolate can kill a 10-poind cat.". Pardon me, but if I ate 6% of my weight in chocolate at a sitting, I doubt I'd be too happy!

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  9. My dog just ate over 2 pounds of chocolate that my sister had as a wedding gift for someone (and she left it on the floor) last night, and we got him to the vet just in time. He's a beagle and is 33 pounds. As soon as we got there he starting having seizures and lost control of his bladder. He's going to be ok, but please don't ever underestimate the toxicity of chocolate!

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  10. No dog should ever be able to get into two pounds of any human-intended food. That's stupidity on the humans' part and suggests a lack of caring for the animal to allow it to happen in the first place. Anyone who has a dog should no better than to leave any food out unsupervised...

    Left two pounds of chocolate intended to be a wedding gift out on the floor? Even if there wasn't a dog to get into it, that's still a ridiculous plae to be keeping food, especially food that's supposed to be someone's wedding gift, and that should be gourmet in that case. What an idiot...

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    1. Well i gave my dog four pounds for fun

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    2. What? Are you insane? Are you TRYING to kill yourdog? I left two choclate bars out by accident once, and my dog had a seizure and died while I was gone that night. Chocolate is EXTREMELY TOXIC to dogs! Be serious! I have never forgiven myself.

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    3. What? Why would you do that? Are you insane? Are you TRYING to kill your dog? My dog died from two eating two chocolate bars. Be careful, chocolate is EXTREMELY TOXIC to dogs. Its serious.

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  11. Can anyone give me advice my dog always eats chocolate and she always wants more and i can't say no to her hazel eyes sdo i give her more what will happen to her shes not even 1years ols i got her in august last year. Please anyone i want her to live a happy life i don't want her to die till i'm olderbut when she diesmy mom said she will have puppies before anything so i will have my dogs puppy then that dogs puppy and it will go on i want her in my life forever so please someone tell me what to do

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    1. dont give her chocolate if you really care about your dog. Its simple.

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  12. okay im 15 & my dog is 2 years old & 6 pounds & she ate about either 1/4 or 1/3 of a hostess chocolate cake. does anyone know if that is too much? please help :)

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    1. It depends on how much she puked up. If she puked most of it up, dont be worried, those are small. My dog is about the same. But if she didnt puke it up rite after, maybe call the vet or wait it out. If shes lethargic, hyperactive, restless, abnormal or high heartrate, tremors, or seizures, call the vet definetly. Otherwise, just watch her.

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  13. Hey my niebor's dog(s) are barking non-stop. It's so damn annoying and the police won't do anything to shut them up. So... Should I bake some cakes and drop then in the neibor's bakc yards? How much would be enough to kill the dogs? Should I use those hostest cup cakes or would cake be better? K, thank you for replying.
    -Balkin-

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  14. Ok here is what ya do..tell your friend to bake a cake for you and that your neighbor said to shove it up your ass! LOSER! DOGS ARE AMAZING, and losers like you that only notice dogs bark..how f-in pathetic?! DOGS DO BARK! GET A LIFE MAN! Hope that helps you..now I am off because some of us have better things to do then to be so cruel and a waste of time! Later everyone! And to all the dog lovers, you rock! Have a fantastic day!!
    xoxo, anna

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  15. Theobromine is the active ingredient in chocolate and it has the same effect on dogs as it does on people. It's toxic to us but we ingest it in far lower doses and become satiated before we come anywhere near a toxic threshold.

    I don't doubt for a second the claim that two pounds of chocolate almost killing a 33 pound dog. I've got news for everyone. If we ate 1 pound of chocolate for every 16 pounds of our body weight, in one sitting, we'd all wind up in the hospital too. (does the idea make you wretch? Good. You're safe)

    A hershey's kiss is not going to kill your dog. But without a built in 'enough is enough' mechanism, a dog can easily get itself into trouble with any unguarded food.

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  16. Wow! Guys! Thank you for such useful chocolate facts! I couldn't even imagine such things about chocolate!

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  17. Dear Tannis,

    Some advice (since you asked): you need to be able to say no to your dog.

    It's one thing if a dog gets into chocolate by accident, but the fact that you're feeding it to her despite knowing its side effects is irresponsible and lame. Of course she wants it and is going to ask for it--but you, as her owner, need to know better. Say no and stay firm--she'll live (literally!).

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  18. Hey I have a dog his name is Alex. I love him so much. we adopted him about 2 years ago when he was 9. I dont want to see him die, I am onl 15 and dont want him gone, so I would NEVER EVER EVER feed him chocolate, and I haven't. So whoever u r dont feed your dog chocolate no matter how much he begs. B.C. no matter how much he begs for life b.c of the chocolate you wont b able to help.

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  19. You are some funny animal owners. I guess I asked for it when I looked up "will dogs die if they eat chocolate". You might cool out on the hostility while your at it. Hostility doesn't favor a good animal owner. Peace, love and chocolate free dogs!

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    1. We are not hostile ok, we want the best for dogs no matter whos they r, and we csre for them. Chocolate is EXTREMELY TOXIC to dogs obviously. My dog died because of my Ignorance, dont let that happen to ur dog too. Thank you.

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  20. My dog (84lb rottie/shepherd mix) always gets ahold of chocolate in our house. she once at a whole entiman's chocolate fudge cake and she was fine. Yesterday she ate a 2lb bag of dark chocolate M&M's and finished off the Reese's peanutbutter cups and its not like they were in easy to reach places either! i dont know how she gets to it!..she seems perfectly fine right now, not even a sugar rush.. shouldn't she be dead by now?? I'm very confused and concerned.

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  21. Known Facts:
    1. Theobromine WILL kill a dog, cat or human.
    2. DARK chocolate of high quality (greater than 70% cocoa) is absolutely dangerous - most chocolates do not have this amount.
    3. WHITE chocolate has no theobromine.
    4. Baking chocolate is the most concentrated form of theobromine containing about 390 mg/oz vs 44 mg/oz found in quality milk chocolate.
    5. Theobromine is metabolized by the liver with primarily urinary excretion.
    6. In dogs, the toxic level for theobromine is approximately 250-500 mg/kg, however deaths have occurred after ingestion of 115 mg/kg.
    7. Clinical signs: EXCITEMENT, Muscle spasms/tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, coma.
    8. Don't give pets chocolate! I don't care what their eyes tell ya!
    signed: Da Vet

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    1. Finally, someone who actually knows something...GREAT INFO. Much appreciated, I didn't know white chocolate didn't contain Theobromine. THANK YOU for posting this info.

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  22. PLEASE HELP ME, my stupid cousin left a box of bite sized brownies, about 10 in there, and my two dogs both ate them! I really dont want them to die, but do you think they will?! Im really scared, crying . reply back a.s.a.p. before its too late

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    1. They should be ok if they both vomited most of it back up. Otherwise, if they r hyperactive, lethargic, their heart rate is abnormal, or if ur dog is twitching or having a seizure, callt the vet.

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  23. what should i do if my dogs(puppies) eat chocolate i relly need to knw because my family went out and my brother's dushbag of a dog knocked of the table 2-3 dozen peannut butter cookies with hershey kisses on them giving them to my little puppies that just turned 1. WHAT DO I DO!!! I'M FREAKING OUT!!! i dont want my puppies to die, please if there is anyone who can help me please tell me what i should do to help them i'll do just about anything to save them!!!!!!!!!

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  24. My dog a yorki ate some chacolate and didn't react. my friends dog eats alot of chocolate and is okay. what up with that?

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  25. Please do not feed your dog chocolate. My dog Belle is suffering from a end stage liver disease because of a small amount of chocolate icing that she licked off from the carton from my sons lava cake. Although she has pre-existing liver issues before the incident this tip her right off the edge. I am now suffering from a very guilty feeling knowing that it is my fault that is why her lifespan will get shortened. So please if you love your dog as much as I do, DO NOT UNDER ESTIMATE THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF CHOCOLATE TO YOUR DOG, DO NOT FEED THEM CHOCOLATE!

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  26. Help me My 1 year old ( human year)about 90 pounds German shepheard just ate a pack of fun size m&ms with peanuts + a pack whoppers and wrappers. Would she die i try to make her spit it out but it wouldn't!what could i doto help her

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  27. The whole chocolate nonsense irks me.

    Alcohol is quite poisonous to humans yet we still drink it. For most people you have to ingest a lot of alcohol before you get enough to die. Each year thousands of people die from alcohol poisoning. Yet we still consume it.

    How many dogs die from chocolate poisoning? not many.

    If you have a small dog, be careful with chocolate around the house, they are more susceptible. A german shepherd on the other hand isn't going to be affected by a handful of m&ms.

    So if you want to give your dog chocolate, do your research and only in moderation.

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    1. DO NOT FEED UR DOGS CHOCOLATE!!! THIS ARTICLE US 99% WRONG!!! My dog died because of 2 chocolate bars. Millions of dogs have dies from chocolate poisoning dude, dont be so ignorant, and definetly dont share ur ignorance with others. Thank you.

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  28. My 2 year old pitbull mix ate a 4th of a thing of chocolate icing. he is drinking alot of water but he is fine. should i worry?

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  29. I think my 3 pound shih tzu mix ate a small bag of milk chocolate m&m's and is fine, but I heard that it takes 12 hours for reactions. I know I can't check on her at 1:00 in the morning, and I'm worried she'll be dead. HELP!!!

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  30. My dog (chihuahua X jack russell) lived till he was 25 years of age. He ate chocolate a lot. One time he was really sick and on the verge of dieing and the only thing he could eat were billabongs. He lived by the way. I reckon chocolate is only bad for some dogs, because chocolate never seemed to have a horrible effect on him.

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  31. My 75 lb. standard poodle got up onto the counter, pulled down a 2 lb. bag of dark-chocolate covered acai berries (from Costco) and ate them while I was at lunch with a friend. I came home and found the bag on my bed. I made her vomit (used hydrogen peroxide) and have been giving her activated charcoal. I have had dogs that ate small amounts of chocolate before (like choco chip cookies) but this was an insane amount of chocolate. I am hoping that vomiting once was enough, as it took a lot to get her to just do it once. She is an extremely sturdy dog but I will be watching her carefully for the next few days for *any* signs of toxicity. I am hoping that because I caught it within a half-hour of her ingesting the chocolate, that she'll be ok.

    And for those who like to insult people who "let" this happen to their dogs, I can only say... "Accidents DO happen". I had no idea my dog was THAT inventive.

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  32. my dog ate my daughters easter egg, she is fine, she looks happier than ever lol

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  33. our dog licked a rapper of a bigdipper and his heart is beating fast and he is shakeing what can we do????

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  34. please help my dog ate aout half a hershey bar last night and i dont know if my dog will die or not and its supposed to have puppys soon will this effect her or the puppys or both please help

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    1. I have a one year old chiwawa weights 3.8 pounds. I have a doctor lives next door he saw Molly eat half of my choclate candy bar, he jumps up and down and tells me that Molly is going to die. Several months later the doctor is in my yard and Molly eats half of my candy bar again, I asked the doctor.......When is Molly going to die?????????????

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  35. damn... there are some stupid people here no wonder the world is falling to pieces. fuck get a grip.

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  36. It is the BAKERS and Semi-Sweet Chocolate that contains highest amounts of theobromine. It is more like a COCAINE OVERDOSE to a dog than 'caffeine". Unlike Caffeine, theobromine makes the dog's heart pound, brains arteries spasm, blood pressure spike and pulse spike. They can NOT break it down really at all. Leading too long period of toxicity. So a small piece =fatal. Now other chocolates like White Chocolate, Chocolate Milk Powder, store checkout aisle chocolate bars have a lot smaller amounts. Either way bad, bad to Fatal for 65lb dogs and smaller. 8 Ounces of Bakers of Chocolate has, can and usually will killed a 100lb dog. Lesson here? KEEP the DOG and CHOCOLATE away. They depend on you to keep them safe and feed them nontoxic stuff.

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