Do you know a chocolate can be toxic to your Yorkshire Terrier? Depending on your dog’s weight and the amount of chocolate ingested, it could result in a medical emergency. So when it comes to sharing your table scrap or favorite snacks with your four-legged buddy, you would not want to feed something that can poison him or make him sick. Chocolate is one such human food that your pet should stay away from. When consumed in large amounts, the sweet treat can cause serious illness and even death. Yes, chocolate poisoning in Yorkies can cause serious health issues for your four-legged buddy. A small quantity of chocolate can give your pooch an upset stomach, resulting in diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs
Chocolate is toxic, as it contains a bitter-stimulant theobromine, which is a chemical similar to caffeine. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine the way human bodies can. When ingested in huge amounts, theobromine can cause seizures, muscle tremors, internal bleeding, irregular heartbeat, or even a heart attack. Theobromine toxicity is marked by severe hyperactivity.
Darker varieties of chocolate have a higher amount of these toxic elements and can prove to be highly toxic compared to milk and white chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content and the more dangerous it is for dogs. The stimulants stay in the dog’s blood for some time. So chocolate poisoning in Yorkies can have serious consequences.
Typically, your pet vomits on his own after ingesting chocolate, depending on the amount consumed. If the dog does not vomit, a veterinarian might try to induce it by giving him hydrogen peroxide.
Even the dog’s bladder can reabsorb theobromine, so IV fluids and physical activity are required to encourage urination.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Yorkies
White chocolate does not have caffeine, so it will not cause chocolate poisoning in dogs, though your furry friend will often get a sugar high from this sugar-loaded treat. Chocolate toxicity in dogs may have the following symptoms.
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle rigidity
- Increased body temperature
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased reflex responses
In cases of severe toxicity, a dog may show advanced signs, such as coma or cardiac failure. However, the symptoms vary depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested.
Chocolate Poisoning in Yorkies; Types of Chocolate Most Harmful to Dogs
The theobromine level in a chocolate varies from one chocolate variety to another. Cocoa powder, baking chocolate, dark chocolate, and cooking chocolate are highly concentrated and have the highest levels of caffeine and theobromine. White chocolate has comparatively the lowest level of these chemical elements.
When it comes to exploring the causes of chocolate poisoning in Yorkies, the following types of chocolate top the list.
- Baking Chocolate – The most toxic chocolate to dogs, a baking chocolate contains the highest concentration of chemical elements. This means ingestion of even two small one-ounce squares of it can be poisonous for a 20-pound dog.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate – The ingestion of 0.3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate can induce toxicity symptoms in a dog. However, severe toxicity may result when a dog ingests one ounce of this chocolate per pound of their weight.
- Milk Chocolate – This type of chocolate has a lesser amount of Theobromine compared to dark chocolate. Some of the common signs of toxicity may show up if a dog ingests even 0.7 ounces of it per pound of body weight. However, severe poisoning may occur from the ingestion of two ounces of milk chocolate per pound of the dog’s weight.
Diagnosis of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
If you suspect your pooch has ingested chocolate or there are some signs of cocoa ingestion, you should immediately take him to the veterinarian. Your vet may perform a complete physical examination to look for signs of chocolate poisoning. The dog might need to go for a chemical blood profile, a urinalysis, or an electrolyte panel for a clear diagnosis of an overdose of caffeine and theobromine.
Your veterinarian may perform an ECG to determine any heart abnormalities.
Treatment for Chocolate Poisoning in Yorkies
Treatment for chocolate toxicity depends on the amount and type of chocolate ingested by your pet. Your veterinarian will try to induce vomiting by administering medicated drugs. He may choose to wash out the stomach or feed him activated charcoal to suck out theobromine from the intestine. Ideally, treatment depends on the symptoms and amount of chocolate ingested.
In severe cases, the administration of activated charcoal may be necessary to block the absorption of theobromine. Activated charcoal may be administered every four to six hours for the first twenty-four hours to reduce the recirculation of theobromine.
Supportive treatments, including intravenous fluid therapy, become necessary for the treatment of chocolate poisoning in Yorkies. It can help stabilize your pooch while promoting the excretion of theobromine. Constant monitoring of dogs ingesting chocolate is crucial to detect any signs of high blood pressure, nervousness, diarrhea, vomiting, agitation, and irregular heart rhythm.
The vet may prescribe drugs to slow the heart rate, manage blood pressure, and treat arrhythmia and help relieve other symptoms of chocolate poisoning in Yorkies.