Our friends at Bluepearl Specialty and Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Louisville, in their Summer 2016 Newsletter, remind us that chocolate toxicity is one of the most commonly encountered poisonings in dogs. As it is very readily available especially around holidays, both dogs and people often find it irresistible.
Signs that develop in the pet are often dependent on the dose the patient receives and are seen relative to the gastrointestinal tract, the heart, and the nervous system. Vomiting, restlessness, hyperactivity, and urinary incontinence are generally seen 1-2 hours after the chocolate is ingested. These signs often progress to an elevated and irregular heart rate, weakness, incoordination, muscle tremors, and diarrhea. The most severe case cause seizures, elevated body temperature, elevated blood pressure, and coma. Death can occur secondary to the seizures, respiratory failure, or heart failure.
Management is an emergency situation where efforts are made to lessen absorbsion of the poison and treat the variety of symptoms.
We, again, thank the folks at Bluepearl at 13160 Magisterial Drive in Louisville, KY for this timely reminder.