Buddy's chocolate adventure

Buddy is a 2 year old Blue Heeler cross. His owners came home one evening to find that he had eaten almost two large blocks of chocolate, foil and all! Buddy's owners knew that chocolate is toxic to dogs, so brought him straight to the clinic. Dr Andrea examined Buddy on arrival and quickly calculated that he had a toxic dose of chocolate. Buddy had an elevated heart rate but otherwise was showing no signs of toxicity. This indicated that his owners had acted quickly.

In order to remove the toxins before they had more of an effect on Buddy, Dr Andrea gave him an injection to make him vomit. As the chocolate had not been absorbed, Buddy was able to vomit up a large amount of it.

Once he had vomited all he could, Buddy was given another injection to settle his stomach and make him feel less nauseous. As he had such a large dose of chocolate, Dr Andrea recommended that Buddy spend the night at the Animal Accident and Emergency Centre for monitoring. Buddy was also placed on intravenous fluids to help flush the toxins out of his blood stream and to replace fluid lost through vomiting. He was given some charcoal tablets to absorb and neutralise any remaining toxins.

Buddy recovered well and was sent home the next day. Hopefully he will not be too keen to eat chocolate again!

Unlike humans, dogs cannot process the theobromine present in chocolate. This chemical is from the same family as caffeine and in large enough doses can cause hyperexcitability, hyperirritability, increased heart rate, restlessness, muscle tremors and even death. You should never feed your dog any amount of chocolate, especially dark chocolate which contains more theobromine than milk chocolate. If you suspect your dog has ingested chocolate in any amount, you should call your vet whether or not he/she is showing signs. The quicker the chocolate can be removed from the dog's digestive system, the better the outcome.