As Valentines Day approaches with the Easter Bunny not far behind we all need to be mindful of the rich, sweet temptations in our lives. Our dogs are taught not to counter surf, to restrain themselves from snatching tidbits from little hands and vacuuming morsels from the floor because assistance dogs "Just can’t do that". Well, there are other reasons for that too.
Chocolate is the first one I always think about. Two problems usually occur with chocolate exposures. Everything made with chocolate is rich, so lots of fat and sugar are ingested which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The chocolate, however, is directly toxic because it contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both methylxanthines. The methylxanthines can cause excitement, agitation, rapid heart rate and shaking. Without proper treatment chocolate toxicity can be fatal. Baking chocolate has 7 times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Call your veterinarian for advice if your dog eats chocolate.
One of the newer poison problems we have been seeing is from sugarfree candy. Candy (gum, toothpaste, soft drinks, etc.) containing xylitol have been recognized by the National Animal Poison Control Center to be a risk to animals. Dogs ingesting large amounts of xylitol products may have a sudden drop in blood sugar resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. The signs develop quite rapidly after the ingestion, sometimes less than 30 minutes. Immediate medical is care required.
Up until around 1989, grapes and raisin were thought to harmless little treats for our dogs. Wrong. The exact mechanism of action remains unknown. Sensitive dogs have an increased risk of initially developing vomiting and diarrhea followed by acute renal failure (kidney failure). Although this is a potentially fatal condition, if it is identified quickly, it is potentially treatable, but why risk the chance.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. If you suspect your puppy has a health problem, please consult your veterinarian.
Bonnie "Dr. Sparky" Kramer