What's up choc? Warning as bunny falls ill from scoffing sweet treat

A GREEDY rabbit had to hop it to the vets after nibbling her way through her owner's chocolate treat.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 27th March 2017, 12:28 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:28 pm
Helen Wilkinson with her rabbit Mrs Mouse who accidentally ate part of a Terry's chocolate orange and veterinary surgeon Tommaso Giorgi.
Helen Wilkinson with her rabbit Mrs Mouse who accidentally ate part of a Terry's chocolate orange and veterinary surgeon Tommaso Giorgi.

Mrs Mouse, a four-year-old indoor bunny, jumped onto the sofa at the home of owner Helen Wilkinson, and helped herself to half a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

Because chocolate is potentially toxic to pets, Helen had to rush her pet to Chantry Vets in Batley Road, Alverthorpe, where Mrs Mouse was placed onto an intravenous drip and hospitalised overnight for monitoring to ensure she didn’t suffer an adverse reaction.

Now Chantry Vets has issued a warning to owners about the dangers facing pets over Easter from tempting treats like chocolate, sweets and hot cross buns.

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The half-eaten Terry's Chocolate Orange

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to pets, and Easter is the second busiest time of year after Christmas for cases of chocolate poisoning.

Chantry vet Tommaso Giorgi, who is a certificate holder in exotics species, which includes rabbits, said: “We are expecting for an increase in cases of pets eating chocolate and other tasty treats in the lead up to Easter.

“At this time of year, we see a lot of dogs that have eaten chocolate, but I’ve never known a rabbit eat any.

“Mrs Mouse had a lucky escape after eating chocolate. She was bright and happy, but we hospitalised her and placed her on intravenous fluids as we needed to monitor her for any gastrointestinal disturbances, diarrhoea or changes in her heart rate.”

The half-eaten Terry's Chocolate Orange

While most rabbits enjoy carrots, herbs and wild weeds, Mrs Mouse was tempted by the smell of a half-eaten chocolate treat that had been left on the sofa from the previous evening by her owner.

Helen, who lives in Middleton, Leeds, with boyfriend Marc Cutsforth, and their rescue rabbits Mrs Mouse and Mr Mouse said: “I let her out of her cage to have a run around the house and, when my back was turned, she jumped on the sofa.

“We then discovered she had nibbled through the foil and eaten some of the chocolate.

“She has eaten skirting boards and through plastic packaging to get to broccoli in the past, but this is the first time she has eaten chocolate.”

Helen added: “From now on, I intend keeping chocolate hidden away – or make sure I eat it all myself!”

Even small amounts of chocolate can cause heart problems, hyper excitability and fits.

Raisins in hot cross buns can be deadly to pets, while the traditional Easter Sunday dinner can cause problems with gastroenteritis or choking on bones.

Lilies are poisonous to cats and daffodil, crocus and tulip bulbs are toxic to dogs.

If you are concerned about anything your pet may have eaten, call Chantry Vets on 01924 362464.