Bonifay FL – October 2009– Who doesn’t love the goodies we get from a night of “trick-or-treating”? And as much as our dentist and the bathroom scale may warn against Halloween sweets we will all indulge at least a little bit. But what amounts to a special treat for us can be a serious, even life threatening, problem for our family dog and cat.
If a dog or cat eats chocolate their bodies react in a variety of ways including increased heart contractions, loss of body fluid, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, convulsions, seizures and sometimes death. Of course the best policy is to never allow your cat or dog to eat chocolate or sweets in any form but around Halloween time we need to be especially vigilant in case our kids are a little too generous with their “trick-or-treat” plunder.
If the family pet does ingest chocolate call your vet or animal hospital immediately.
The effects of chocolate poisoning are not always evident right away so don’t assume your pet is not ill because you don’t notice any obvious symptoms. If you cannot reach your vet it is always a good idea to have a first aid kit containing activated charcoal and syrup of Ipecac on hand to treat your pet until medical help can be reached.
The Quick Guide to First Aid for Your Dog (Bamberger, Michelle Howell Bookhouse New York 1993) recommends the following first aid: Induce vomiting by feeding your pet 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1 to 2 teaspoons by mouth, every 15 minutes until they vomit. Or use Syrup of Ipecac instead. One dose of 2 to 3 teaspoons should be all that is necessary. Once your pet has vomited give it activated charcoal by mouth mixed to a “slurry” consistency with water. For pets less than 25 pounds, 1 teaspoon and for dogs over 25 pounds, 2 teaspoons. This will help absorb any remaining toxins.
Then consult with your vet at the earliest opportunity. Keep an eye on what your pets are eating and enjoy a fun and safe Halloween!
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