Today my dog grabbed and ate a chocolate brownie I sat down on an end table. I know dogs aren't supposed to have chocolate so immediately I called the vet. I was told to bring him in.
The vet didn't act all that concerned and said that the dark chocolate is more dangerous. He said they've seen dogs eat a whole chocolate cake. He gave him something to make him throw up and hit me with a $145 vet bill.
After what appeared to me to be a lack of concern on their part and after talking with people in the pet store I'm now wondering if I overreacted by immediately taking him to the vet. I am wondering if that small amount would have done anything to him other than loose stools?
The dog is fine and never acted anything, but happy that he got a brownie. I love my dog so it's not to say I wouldn't do the same next time. Your thoughts?
Here's a hint and I hardly ever go to the vet because they rip you off. Hydrogen peroxide a few teaspoonfuls or cap fuls and the dog will vomit instantaneously. My dog ate 2 bags of choc chips I had sitting on the counter never thought in a million yrs my dog would get to them! Came home she looked like she was literally dying she could barely walk was falling over and foaming at her mouth when I called my husband and the guy he works with works for a vet on the weekends and as a warden and he told me immediately what to do it works so please remember that! My dog was instantly throwing up and in a few minutes almost normal again!
The smaller the dog the greater the risk with chocolate. A lab can eat a Hershey bar and have loose stools while a chihuahua can get very sick with the same Hershey bar. The doctor wasn't terribly concerned because he knew your dog wasn't going to die or even get very sick. It's a good idea to avoid chocolate but usually it doesn't cause too much damage with a large dog.
While I've had occasional visits to vets where I felt 'taken', don't feel too bad about your vet telling you to come in. After all, if he'd said not to worry, and then your dog became really ill from it, you'd have really hated him, so I think they sometimes try to protect themselves as well as your dog.
I've heard for the last few years that chocolate is toxic to some dogs, but not to others, so not to take any chances. While I do everything possible to keep my current dog from eating anything chocolate, or any onions, or ANYTHING that even MIGHT remotely hurt her... I didn't know that chocolate was a problem years ago, before the internet, when we sometimes gave our first 'furry child' tiny bits of chocolate. She lived to be over 16 years old and never had any problems with chocolate. However, as an elderly dog, a relative visited and gave her some of his eggs with green onions in them. She became ill soon after and died a few days, many tears, and hundred of dollars later.
The vet said her kidneys were shutting down, and it may have just been coincidence (because of age) or it may have been the onions, no way to know for sure. After one broken heart, I'd not take any chances with our current doggie and would probably have done the same as you did with yours. After all, our little dogs do nothing but love us, how can we do anything else but try to protect them?
By the way, always set pet feeding rules with house-guests, and if they think they know better than you what your dog can eat, put THEM outside (house-guests, not the dog!). No matter how careful you are, someone ELSE can harm your pet before you realize what they're doing.
I have four dogs of various sizes and two of them love chocolate, one because he just plain loves the taste, and the other because she eats anything! I DO NOT give chocolate to my dogs. They have stolen it before and had it given them by others who didn't realize the possible effects. Size of the dog is definitely an issue as the smaller dogs can be affected much worse. My biggest issue is that the damage to the liver may never recover and a little eaten often is probably just a bad as a lot in one go. My advice? Don't take any chances, leave out the chocolate from their diet.
I know how you feel about the vet bill. I think your vet was playing it safe. My fox terrier got into the easter candy one year. She ate a couple pounds, aluminum foil and all. When I came home she looked like she had swallowed a watermelon. I took her to the vet, who made her vomit, and watched her overnight. She was just fine. I think you were pretty safe with just a brownie, but you want to do all you can for them and it is often a tough call.
Better to error on the side of caution. That said I agree with everything else said so far. As the mother of 4 blue heelers,a yellow lab and a border collie I think I've seen it all lol. I think that the variables like size of dog, amount and kind of chocolate have to be considered too. Best bet is to try and keep it out of their way cause like most people I know dogs can find it irresistable.
My Dachshund got into a zipped duffel bag, and ate 5 wrapped candy bars at one time. He wasn't even sick after the incident - but I would never allow it to happen again! I called the vet, and he told me to give the dog 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. (Very Important - He took the dog's weight into account when deciding how much peroxide to give, so you must ask about the amount for your dog's weight!)
Don't worry too much about over-reacting, but next time consider calling the vet to find out if it's important for him to see the dog. Most vets will help you over the phone if it's not immediately life-threatening, especially if they have cared for your pet in the past. Usually, you can actually get faster care than if you put your pet into the car - particularly if you're unsure of how threatening the situation really is.
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Chocolate is very toxic to dogs. A dog will smell it and chew right through the wrappings of a box of candy under the tree. So, plan accordingly and keep candy in packages and stockings safely out of reach. (P.S. My dog will jump on a table to snatch a treat, so pick a safe place for candy treats.)
I have heard this a number of times, but I also
know from experience that it's debatable.
We had a poodle that weighed 8 pounds.
She got into a 3 pound box of chocolates and
devoured at least 3/4s of the box.
She did not even belch, let alone vomit.
We had a dog for 16 1/2 years and she loved chocolate. It never hurt Rags. She loved people food also and we now have a Schnauzer who is 12 years old and Bingo loves chocolate. She also eats people food and snacks on dog food. So maybe the chocolate theory is not applicable to all dogs. Mind you my son had an American Eskimo dog that was allergic to chocolate. So, some can and some can't. (06/24/2008)
Why take a chance that only some dogs are allergic? (07/07/2008)
It is baking chocolate that is poisonous to dogs. 1 ounce per pound of dog. You can research this on the internet. One such link: dogownersdigest.com (10/28/2008)
My mom didn't know about chocolate being poisonous to dogs, so for 5 years she occasionally gave her German Shepherd chocolate treats. He started having seizures when he was about six and died from them by the time he was 7. The vet felt that the chocolate was the culprit. I have heard that their body can't rid itself of the chocolate. It builds up in their system over time and in this case caused epilepsy. It was a very sad and expensive experience for our whole family as he was a really great dog.