Wednesday, December 29, 2010

HoHoHo...Oh No

Wow, the year is coming to an end. January means my 1st birthday! I love the holidays but once again I have to wonder about human's traditions. This month my humans lugged a 15 foot tree into our house. Then they decorated the tree with shiny things and bright lights. I thought about lifting my leg on it (I have perfected that stance) but decided last minute it would be a bad idea.
S.A.V.E.S. has been so busy. With the holidays brings many different hazards. Chocolate has been a huge offender. So many dogs have been admitted to the hospital for ingesting this candy. I have to say, my sister got a bar for Christmas and it sure does smell good.
The substance in chocolate that is so harmful to pets is called Theobromine. Different types of chocolate contain different levels of this substance. Unsweetened (Baker's) chocolate contains 8-10 times more Theobromine then milk chocolate. White chocolate contains the lowest amounts and is usually least likely to cause poisoning.
The toxic dose of theobromine (and caffeine) is 100-200mg/kg (1 kg=2.2lbs.) though there have been even smaller doses that have been found to be harmful.
Theobromine levels-
Dry Cocoa= 800mg/ou.
Unsweetened chocolate= 450mg/ou.
Semisweet chocolate= 150-160mg/ou.
Milk Chocolate= 44-64mg/ou.
**so the size of the pet, type of chocolate, and the quantity consumed determines the danger
Within 12 hours of eating the chocolate your pet may become excited, nervous or tremble. Vomiting and diarrhea and excessive thirst and excessive urination may occur. As the symptoms progress, muscle spasms, seizure and even death are possible.

When the pet arrives at the hospital the first thing the staff does is try and get the pet to vomit. Intravenous fluid therapy and anti-seizure medications are commonly used. Another useful bit of information, unborn and nursing offspring are also susceptible, Theobromine crosses through the mother's placenta and into milk!

Chocolate is not the only culprit for pets this holiday season. This pile of vomit came from a pet that had eaten 4 boxes of raisins. Grapes and raisins are toxic to pets. Raisins are a dried grape, and since their dried the toxin is concentrated in the fruit. Ultimately your pet's kidneys are damaged if the patient goes untreated.
Within the first 24 hours your pet will show signs of anxiousness, then stop drinking and urinating as the kidneys fail. The medical staff firsts induces vomiting, then administers activated charcoal to absorb the toxin. Intravenous fluids help flush the toxins out of the body and support the kidneys.
p.s. only induce vomiting if instructed by your veterinarian. 3% Hydrogen Peroxide is commonly used to induce vomiting at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds body weight (1 teaspoon- 5 mls). Remember to watch your pet closely for vomiting, we have been known to re-eat our vomitus if allowed to (yea, yea, you humans do some pretty gross things also).
So people, don't leave your Godiva's laying around, we dogs love chocolate! And the next time you bring your moldy grapes out to the bird feeder, remember, the cold wind blows and down will come grapes and raisins in all. TaTa for now.

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