What if your pooch gets into the Halloween treats? Dr. Patten has got you covered. Tips to make the season less scary (and pics of pups dressed up for the holiday).
It’s that time of year when houses are chock full of candy. Be careful — for dogs, eating a stash of chocolate can cause a lot of problems. It is well known that chocolate can be toxic to dogs, but it is the amount and type of chocolate that matters. Larger dogs are able to safely consume more chocolate than smaller dogs.
The type of chocolate is also important. Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate, and baker’s chocolate is the most toxic. If your dog has eaten chocolate, try to save the wrappers so you can tell your veterinarian exactly how many ounces he ate, and what type of chocolate it was. Then, using your dog’s body weight, your veterinarian can calculate whether or not your dog ate a toxic dose and needs treatment.
If you are not sure how much chocolate your dog ate it is best to take him to your veterinarian for evaluation. Mild signs of chocolate ingestion may include gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea. More extreme signs include agitation, excitement, tremors, seizures, and heart arrhythmias. Extreme chocolate toxicosis can be fatal if left untreated.
Another common toxicosis that is seen when dogs eat candy is xylitol toxicity. If your pet ingests any candy or gum that has xylitol, an imitation sugar, please seek veterinary care. Xylitol is often found in sugar free candy and gum. Ingestion of xylitol and can cause a dangerous drop in the blood pressure of dogs. As with chocolate ingestion, try to save the packaging so your veterinarian can figure out exactly how much xylitol your dog ingested.
Be safe this season. If your dogs are lucky, the only thing they’ll suffer is a little humiliation wearing their costumes. Sorry Bambi, Rusty, and Marshmallow!
About Dr. Patten
Dr. Patten, owner of Liberty Vet Clinic in Roxborough, has extensive experience in preventative care, dental procedures, emergency medicine, and soft tissue surgery. She lives on Fox Street in East Falls with her husband and their two sons.