Easter Dangers For Pets

Easter means different things to different people. Longer days, the start of spring, school holidays and the chance to attend religious services or just have some quality time with family and friends, perhaps with a little bit of chocolate indulgence after a lonnnnngggg lent!

However, for vets Easter is a time where we wait for phone calls from worried dog owners whose naughty pooches have found and devoured the Easter egg stash.

The British Veterinary Association recently ran a study that found 62% of pet vets saw cases of chocolate poisoning in dogs last Easter with 13% treating five or more cases over the Easter break. So it’s a fairly common problem!

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Why is chocolate so poisonous to dogs?

Chocolate contains cocoa, which in turn contains a chemical called theobromine. Theobromine is related to caffeine and is one of the components of chocolate that gives us a nice little buzz when we sneak a piece of dairy milk or a creme egg. Indeed, some reckon it’s a bit of an aphrodisiac!

In very high doses it can be dangerous to humans but unless we have a serious Green & Blacks addiction, we should be ok.

Pets however have a slightly different metabolism from us and are much lighter than humans so it’s easier for them to eat a toxic dose.

Are some types of chocolate worse than others?

In general, dark chocolate contains more theobromine than milk or white chocolate. Therefore, a bar of 70% cocoa chocolate that might be used for cooking is a lot more toxic than a similar weight of Dairy Milk.

My daughter gave our Great Dane a malteser. Should I be worried?

Chocolate toxicity is dependent on the amount of chocolate and the size of the dog who eats it.

Therefore, a 2kg chihuahua who eats 400g of dark chocolate is much more at risk than a 60kg Great Dane who eats a malteser!

We will be able to advise on this with a simple phone call, so please get in touch if you are worried!

Help! My dog ate six Easter Eggs. What should I do?

CALL THE VET! We have someone on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As mentioned above, sometimes it’s just a case of a bit of simple, free advice to put your mind at rest but sometimes more needs to be done.

As always, time is of the essence! If your dog has just eaten a dangerous amount of chocolate, we can give an injection to make him vomit. this must be done within 2 hours of eating the chocolate.

The sooner we make him sick, the less effect it has so don’t delay in calling us!

The longer you wait, the more chocolate gets absorbed and the more damage can be done…also the bill may be bigger when they need drips, blood tests and nursing

I’m not sure if my dog ate some chocolate…what should I look out for?

If you’ve been out for the day and come back to 5 lively dogs and a ripped up easter egg, there are some ways to tell who the culprit might be.

Theobromine is a stimulant, so signs of chocolate toxicity include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Trembling
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting and Diarrhoea
  • Rapid Heart Rate

Again, if you are concerned in any way, please call us!

What if I have eaten too much chocolate over Easter?

Technically, we only deal with your pets, but we are happy to provide details of a good gym or a tailor to let out your trouser waist if you need it!

Our emergency vet can be contacted on 02891818898