As the holidays approach nearer, the risk of exposure to chocolate and caffeine containing products increases substantially.  Theobromine is a chemical compound found in chocolate that is toxic to dogs and cats.  Theobromine, along with caffeine results in a multitude of clinical signs depending upon the quantity ingested.

Some clinical signs that can be seen are vomiting, diarrhea, excessive water consumption and urination, impaired balance and coordination (ataxia), fast and irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia) and central nervous system stimulation such as hyperexcitability and seizures at high doses.

Common Chocolate and Caffeine Containing Products

  • Cacao Beans
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Coffee Beans
  • Brewed Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cola Beverages
  • Caffeine Supplements (ie. pill supplements, energy drinks, etc…)

Each product contains a varying amount of theobromine and caffeine resulting in varying degrees of severity of clinical signs.

You should avoid feeding your pets any type of chocolate or caffeine containing products and you should store them out of reach in a safe location to restrict accidental exposure.

Halloween is approaching and the risk is substantially increased, so be diligent in keeping candy away from your pets.

If you see your pet eating chocolate or suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate you should bring them to the vet immediately.  If you notice that your pet is experiencing any of the clinical signs listed above, it is important to have them checked out as soon as possible.

– Christie

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