Chocolate Toxicity in Your Pet

You’re probably aware that pets and chocolate don’t mix. In fact, chocolate is one of the most dangerous and common pet poisons out there! Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of chocolate poisoning, and how to prevent it, from your Washington, DC vet.

Symptoms

Two ingredients in chocolate, theobromine and caffeine, cause the symptoms associated with toxicity. The symptoms include lethargy, drooling, loss of coordination, and—if treatment isn’t administered—seizures, coma, and even death. All types of chocolate can cause these symptoms, including milk, dark, semi-sweet, baking chocolate, and powdered chocolate.

Treatment

Rush your pet to the emergency room if you see or suspect that they’ve ingested chocolate. The stomach may need to be flushed, or activated charcoal may be given to slow the toxin’s absorption. A pet recovering from chocolate poisoning may need supportive measures like fluid replacement while they’re getting back to full health.

Preventing Poisoning

Prevent chocolate poisoning initially by keeping any and all chocolates safely stored in containers, cabinets, or the refrigerator where pets can’t reach.

Ask your veterinarian about other foods that are dangerous for pets. Call your pet clinic Washington, DC if your pet needs an examination—we’re always here to help!