How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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Chocolate contains two chemicals that are poisonous for dogs: Theobromine and caffeine. Dogs can`t metabolize theobromine and caffeine as well as we do. If your dog eats enough chocolate – and enough theobromine – they can die.
There is no antidote to Theobromine. In most cases of chocolate poisoning, your vet will initially make your dog vomit, wash out their stomach and then feed them activated charcoal to absorb any Theobromine left in the intestine.
For milk chocolate, any ingestion of more than 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight may put dogs at risk for chocolate poisoning. Ingestions of more than 0.13 ounces per pound of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning.
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Your pet should be seen by your veterinarian right away. Chocolate is a toxin that will affect your pet’s nervous system and can cause seizures and death. It depends on the size of your pet and the amount and concentration of chocolate he consumed. Make sure to take the package with you so you can let your veterinarian know what they’re dealing with. They will do an exam, bloodwork and possibly an ECG to see if the heart is having any arrhythmias.
Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.
Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.
Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.
Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.
Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.
Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.
Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.
Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.
Also, the weight of the dog is important in terms of the amounts needed to be ingested before toxic symptoms appear. Less than 1oz of milk chocolate per 1lb of bodyweight needs to be eaten to be potentially lethal and less than 0.1oz per 1lb of baking chocolate is needed to be potentially fatal. If you are unsure, you should always contact your vet or emergency vet straight after ingestion.
If your dog has eaten more than the toxic amount, vomiting needs to be induced within two hours of ingestion. Clinical signs usually occur within 6-12 hours post ingestion. Mild signs can include increased thirst, restlessness, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe signs can include hyperactivity, increased urination, muscle tremors, unbalanced/uncoordinated, seizures, increased heart rate, increased breathing, coma and death.
It is best to contact your local veterinarian or emergency clinic for care if your dog has ingested chocolate. If the ingestion was recent, your vet may recommend inducing vomiting and can give you instructions unique to your dog for care. If the ingestion was not recent, your vet may recommend bringing your dog in for care, or monitoring for signs of toxicity such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain or changes in behavior or appetite.