Sunday, March 29, 2009

Easter Candy is a NO NO for Dogs

With Easter just around the corner, you will most likely have some form of chocolate in your house. We all have heard that chocolate can be lethal to your dog, but do you know why? All chocolate products start with the cocoa tree. Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make all chocolate – especially dark or baker's chocolate – which is toxic to dogs. This is a xanthine compound in the same family of caffeine, and theophylline. A dogs metabolises theobromine very slowly so it can stay in your dog's bloodstream for many hours with a reaction similar to you drinking several cups of strong coffee. During that time it stimulates the central nervous system and affects the heart and kidneys.A lethal dose of theobromine is between 100-150 mg/kg to cause a toxic reaction. There are variables to consider like the individual sensitivity, animal size and chocolate concentration. Here is an example of chocolate types and the amounts of theobromine:Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.Semisweet chocolate contains 150mg/oz.Baker's chocolate 390mg/oz.Candies such as, 2 oz. of Baker's chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems. Milk chocolate will often cause diarrhea 12-24 hours after ingestion. Try to get your pet to drink water to prevent dehydration.Xanthines, which has the same effects as caffeine, affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves. It has a diuretic effect as well. Signs to watch for if your dog gets a hold of Easter treats: hyper excitability, hyper irritability, increased heart rate, restlessness, increased urination, muscle tremors, vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to direct you to what action to take in determining the proper treatment for your pet. Easter is a wonderful time of year, just make sure your family pets are not helping themselves to some chocolate rabbits. Be watchful and give your pet the proper treats. Great one's to try are at Life's Abundance and Flint River Ranch. Click on Dog Treats.

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