Important Effects Of Chocolate And Caffeine In Pets

Chocolate consumption in cats and dogs can cause Theobromine toxicity or chocolate toxicity which can cause serious problems in major organs of the body. Theobromine and caffeine can exert various effects on the body that includes the following:

  • Acts as a diuretic that boosts urine output and a resulting loss of fluids in the body
  • Stimulates the nervous system causing seizures, convulsions and possibly death.
  • Increases the activity of the heart (cardiac stimulant) leading to an abnormally high blood pressure and increase in heart rate. 
  • Exert negative effects on the gastrointestinal tract causing vomiting and/or diarrhea

The symptoms vary and will depend on the type and quantity of chocolates which had been ingested. Different kinds of chocolate contain varying amounts of theobromine. The highest amounts are found in dry cocoa powder (800 mg/oz), followed by Baker’s or unsweetened chocolate with 450 mg/oz, sweet dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate with 150-160 mg/oz, milk chocolate with 44-64 mg/oz, while white chocolate has negligible amounts of theobromine.  

Call your Fort Bragg, NC vet clinic immediately if your dog has consumed chocolate so the staff can instruct you on what to do.

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