How Long Before You Notice Signs of Chocolate Poisoning in Your Dog?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    Baker's chocolate is the most toxic for dogs.

    Baker's chocolate is the most toxic for dogs.

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    Chocolate contains the chemical methylxanthine theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. The severity and timing of initial symptoms depends on the amount and type of chocolate a dog ingests. While chocolate poisoning is seldom fatal, immediate treatment after ingestion reduces the severity of toxicity.

    Symptom Development

    Symptoms of chocolate poisoning typically begin within two to four hours after ingestion. They include vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are followed by hyperactivity, muscle tremors, rapid pulse, increased urination and fever. In severe cases, symptoms such as seizures, coma, heart failure and death can occur within 12 to 36 hours of ingestion. If you suspect your dog ate chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately. Induced vomiting and activated charcoal treatments can help remove much of the theobromine if administered within the first two hours after ingestion.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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