By Dr Lisa Prestwood

Easter serves as a timely reminder that chocolate and dogs just do not mix! On Easter Sunday our dedicated vets and nurses treated a couple of cases of chocolate toxicity. Thankfully the dogs responded well to treatment and all ended happily.

Chocolate contains a product called Theobromine which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity and excitation, muscle tremors, seizures, cardiac (heart) abnormalities, and in severe cases death.

The level of Theobromine varies with the type of chocolate, there is more in baking chocolate and dark chocolate than there is in milk chocolates and white chocolates. Also small dogs will become ill with smaller amounts of chocolate

As a guide a 5 kilogram dog could develop theobromine poisoning after eating 120 grams of milk chocolate or 35 grams of dark chocolate or just 15 grams of baking chocolate.

If your dog eats chocolate seek veterinary attention immediately. We may be able to induce vomiting to prevent absorbtion of the toxins. If toxic signs have developed the dog is likely to need hospitalisation, intravenous fluids and supportive care for a number of days

So don’t feed them chocolate treats and don’t leave any leftover Easter Eggs laying around!