Chocolate Ingestion – How to tell if your pet is at risk

Monty-CastroIt is commonly known by most pet families that chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs. Signs of poisoning include diarrhea, rapid breathing, vomiting, muscle rigidity, accentuated reflexes, seizures, rapid heart rate, cardiac failure and death.


The theobromine in the chocolate is the culprit. As little as 10 mg per pound of theobromine can cause serious illness or death. Milk chocolate contains about 40 to 65 mg of theobromine per ounce. That makes about 1.5 to 2 ounces of milk chocolate toxic for the average cat. Unsweetened baker’s chocolate contains about ten times more theobromine, making it much more dangerous. The toxic amount  varies between pets depending on age, health and other factors. In a home situation, it can be difficult to gauge whether the pet has ingested a lethal amount.

Well, the ASPCA Animal Poison Center has a free Dogs and Chocolate Risk Wheel available that can help determine the pet’s risk. You just dial in the weight of the pet, the type of chocolate and the amount the pet ate. The answer will help you determine if you have a minor problem or a serious em

To order the wheel, you can:  call   888.426.4435 or email ergency.   

There is no antidote for chocolate toxicity. Treatment involves supportive care. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate.

Unfortunately, no wheel for cats, yet.


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