Alfie is a 2 year old cocker spaniel
05/10/2013: Alfie was first seen as an emergency after he has eaten a large box of chocolates. He appeared very hyperactive and excitable and had an extremely high heart rate. He was panting lots and was quite distressed.
Alfie was showing signs of severe chocolate poisoning and was admitted for further treatment. Alfie was immediately placed onto a high rate of intravenous fluids to allow the poisonous toxins to be flushed out of his system as quickly as possible. His intravenous fluids also helped to treat the signs of shock that Alfie was also experiencing.
Chocolate is extremely poisonous to dogs. It contains 2 main ingredients which can be very toxic to animals – caffeine and theobromine. If eaten these ingredients can pose a number of serious health risks and if consumed in high quantities can be fatal. Although all chocolate is bad for dogs the most dangerous types are dark chocolate which contain high cocoa content.
Signs of chocolate poisoning include:
Vomiting, diarrhoea, increased body temperature, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, seizures, advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma.)
Alfie ate well over the lethal dose of chocolate (4243mg – 291mg/kg.)
In order to assess the effect of the chocolate toxins on the body a blood sample was taken for testing. Despite the high level of toxins ingested Alfie’s results showed his major organs continued to function normally. Throughout his stay in hospital these blood tests were repeated to monitor the effects of the chocolate and to assess his recovery following treatment.
To help to prevent the absorption of the toxins Alfie was also given activated charcoal orally. Activated charcoal was administered every 4 hours to ensure that all the toxins in the stomach and intestines were absorbed by the charcoal.
Throughout the rest of day Alfie responded well to treatment and began to slowly calm. His heart rate was still very high but his breathing rate improved. He remained on a high rate of intravenous fluids and continued to have activated charcoal. Alfie slowly started to eat and he appeared comfortable.
Overnight Alfie continued to make good progress. His heart rate continued to reduce and slowly came to normal levels. Although he was still excitable, Alfie’s behaviour was much less hyperactive and erratic. He remained on charcoal treatment and intravenous fluid therapy.
06/10/2013: The following day Alfie appeared much better. He was now much calmer and was behaving normally. His heart rate had fallen to a normal level and he appeared comfortable. A repeated blood test was performed which indicated Alfie was responding well to treatment.
Alfie continued to make good progress throughout the afternoon and was sent home to recuperate. Over the following days he continued to make a good recovery. His behaviour continued to calm and he no longer showed signs of hyperactivity. Despite the amount of chocolate Alfie consumed he fortunately showed no lasting signs of poisoning.