Easter 2023: Vet’s warning as dog becomes ill after eating 1kg of Cadbury Mini Eggs
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A warning has been issued to dog owners ahead of Easter after a puppy became ill after eating 1kg of Mini Eggs by mistake. PDSA, the UK’s largest vet charity, has issued guidelines to dog owners on how to look out for chocolate poisoning symptoms in their pets.
The warning comes as Labrador cross Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Charlie, was discovered by her shocked owners with a chewed empty packet, which originally contained Mini Eggs at the beginning of March. Charlie had managed to jump the stair gate and get her paws on the chocolate.
Once her family found her with the empty packet and appearing very subdued, they knew something was seriously wrong and immediately called PDSA. Before they made it to Bournemouth PDSA Pet Hospital, Charlie had vomited five times at home, and continued to be sick during the short car journey, leaving her owners incredibly worried about her.
PDSA vet, Clare Sparks, said: “We were suspicious that there could be even more chocolate left in Charlie’s stomach, so we gave her an injection to make her sick to empty her stomach completely, and she brought up lots more chocolate vomit.
“Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is perfectly safe for humans, but toxic for dogs, cats and rabbits.
“The seriousness of chocolate poisoning depends on how much chocolate your pet has eaten, how big they are, and the cocoa content of the chocolate – the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is for your pet.”
“Thankfully for Charlie, it wasn’t long after the injection that she started to perk up again & she was able to head home to fully recover.”
Clare explained: “Symptoms of chocolate poisoning usually appear within two to four hours but can take up to 12 hours. Severe cases can lead to heart failure, coma and even death in pets.
“Although this is rare, this is why it’s really important to keep chocolate safely away from prying paws. Especially during festivities like Easter when there’s likely more chocolate than usual in the house - with over 80 million Easter eggs sold in the UK each year,” Claire said.
Fast breathing or panting
Shaking, trembling and tremors
High temperature (fever)
A fast heart rate
High blood pressure
How pets are treated after eating chocolate
Claire explained: “At our Pet Hospitals, Apomorphine, a treatment used for chocolate and raisin toxicity sees an average increase in use of 23% around Easter. It can cost as much as £300.40 to treat a dog for chocolate poisoning. On average it costs £40.00 to treat a small size dog, such as a miniature dachshund, and £200 for a medium sized dog for chocolate poisoning.”
If you are concerned your pet may be suffering from chocolate poisoning, keep the packaging and call your vet immediately.