Veterinarians Have Troublemaker Pets, Too

 In Pet Talk: In the News

brown and white dog in ERThis is Badger, a 13.5-year-old female mix that ate 18 oz. of milk chocolate. Badger is owned by one of WVRC’s Veterinarians. We won’t tell you who, but just know that Veterinarians have troublemaker pets too!

Badger had a chocolate feast, and unfortunately, chocolate is very toxic to dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, and these toxins affect several different systems in a dog’s body, depending on the amount ingested. Toxic doses first cause vomiting and diarrhea, then tachyarrhythmia (fast, abnormal heart rate), then tremors/seizures, and potential death. The type of chocolate ingested plays a significant role in the amount of theobromine and caffeine present. White chocolate contains minimal amounts of these ingredients, while cocoa powder contains large amounts. So, if even small amounts of cocoa powder are ingested, a dog can still experience toxic side effects. 

Badger ate a lethal dose for chocolate ingestion. Ideally, if the chocolate ingestion occurred recently, vomiting would be induced to remove what chocolate we can from the stomach. In Badger’s case, it was too late to induce vomiting; she was already agitated with a tachyarrhythmia.

Badger was hospitalized and started on intravenous fluids to increase her urination; this is how toxins exit the body. She was also started on a beta blocker to control her arrhythmia. After 24 hours in the hospital, she was able to go home with no long-term complications from her gluttonous feast.

Remember:

1. Chocolate is toxic, and if your pet ingests it, call your Veterinarian or WVRC!

2. Veterinarians have naughty dogs, too! We’ve been in your shoes.

– Kerri Wiedmeyer, DVM
WVRC – ER Veterinarian

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