A drop of nicotine can kill a horse, and a piece of chocolate – a dog or a cat. For most of us, chocolate and chocolate desserts are just a treat, that will likely to ruin only our figure and maybe teeth. Chocolate has a pleasant taste and even some health benefits, but not for animal. So if you are a lover of chocolate and pets, you need to be constantly on the alert. Chocolate treats that in virtually unlimited quantities can be completely safe for humans could easily harm your dog or cat even in very small quantities.
Scientists report that a lethal dose is only 50 grams. The problem is that chocolate contains cocoa and cocoa contains theobromine compound. Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid that is toxic to cats and dogs, and other domestic animals in certain doses. Chocolate poses a threat of poisoning, which occurs mainly in dogs, but is also sometimes found in cats.
Dark Chocolate is more dangerous!
The largest number of “toxins” is contained in the black (bitter) chocolate: 4,58-6,52 milligrams per gram of dark chocolate, 1,52-6,52 milligrams per gram of milk chocolate and 0.035 milligrams per gram of white chocolate. Cocoa powder contains from 10 to 30 milligrams of “toxins” per gram.
Theobromine increases the release of adrenaline, which causes a lot of problems in dogs and cats. It also accelerates the heartbeat, which might be the reason for animal’s vomiting, diarrhea and excessive urination. Cats and dogs can also become overactive. The saddest outcomes that might occur are depression, coma, seizures, and finally death. Other symptoms may include restlessness, agitation, hyperactivity, nervousness, tremors and increased drinking.
In animals, theobromine is metabolized very slowly. The substance accumulates in the body and small quantities might seem insignificant to you, but these doses will add up from time to time. Just a very little piece of chocolate given once a day can provoke cardiac pathology very quickly.
In dogs with epilepsy, chocolate can trigger an epileptic seizure. In severe cases it may develop blood-clotting condition that manifests itself in the form of hemorrhage in the mucous membranes, and in such vital organs as the heart, liver, brain and kidneys.
What if cat or dog take chocolate?
In case your dog or cat gets a hold of chocolate (even very small amounts), you should contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible. Veterinarians usually treat chocolate poisoning by causing vomiting and some therapy in the hospital, but it is important to seek veterinary care quickly. Always ensure that your pets cannot accidentally get grab a piece of any kind of chocolate and pay extra attention during holiday feasts or when other people are visiting. Remember that your pet’s health depends on your own responsibility, so do not neglect the advice of scientists and at the first sign of poisoning call a specialist.