This toxin is considered to be a very high risk and your pet should be evaluated as an emergency at your nearest veterinary hospital. You may want to contact whiskerDocs or the hospital if your pet has recently ingested this toxin to see if there are additional steps you need to take before leaving home.
Chocolate is certainly a favorite treat for many people, but should be left for the humans to consume. Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats and the level of concern is dependent on the type and amount of chocolate eaten, in addition to the size of the animal. The darker and less sweet the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. For example, if your furry friend were to ingest baking chocolate, the cause for concern would be much higher than the ingestion of milk chocolate. Chocolate owes its toxicity to a chemical called methylxanthine theobromine. This compound is quickly absorbed from the intestines and spreads throughout the body. This compound can also be found in caffiene for example. Signs to note include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, panting, increased thirst, muscle tremors, seizures, increased heart rate, increased body temperature, walking abnormal, excessive urination, coma, and death. Signs of toxicity can occur within 6-12 hours. Chocolate is extremely tempting to our furry friends, and most chocolate is eaten accidentally when we are not home or are occupied with other things. If there is any doubt of whether any kind of chocolate was eaten, please contact a veterinarian for further advice. In general, the following are considered toxicity levels based on the type of chocolate ingested:
White chocolate - low or no toxicity, but could potentially cause vomiting and diarrhea due to high sugar and dairy content
Milk chocolate - moderate toxicity, and could be a serious toxic level depending on the amount ingested and the size/weight of your pet
Dark chocolate - severe toxicity that should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible