chocolate scare, near miss.... - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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chocolate scare, near miss....

Tonight i had a craving for chocolate and bought a giant (half pound) dark chocolate bar on my way home. I ate a small piece and left the rest on the counter. I went out to the post office after dinner and came back a half hour later and to my horror found the wrapper on the floor and a dog licking her chocolately lips. Lucily it wasn't my little havanese (she was safely in her crate), but it was still a lethal amount of chocolate for my labradoodle!

I of course was prepared for this, and broke open my doggy first aid kit that included peroxide. But how exactly do you get peroxide into an uncooperative dog. Needless to say, i ruined a shirt and pair of jeans, and only got a small amount of peroxide into the the dog and the bottle was empty. I waited 15 minutes, pushed on her stomach, no vomiting. I called my vet. They were closed for the night. The emergency vet answered, but he said just keep trying the peroxide (some help he was). My own vet called me back. She was at a class out of town and not able to see me but gave me some advice over the phone. She calculated the dose (in the toxic range). Told me how to give the peroxide (mix 50 ml with peanut butter, dog ate it no problem).

Time to move on to the treatment/detoxification phase. Of course this is usually done by the vet, but I've done it in humans (i'm an MD) so was willing to try it in my dog. I went into my hospital to get the supplies to pump my dog's stomach; nasogastric tube, syringes, lube, activated charcoal... got home and was never so happy to see a big pile of vomit on the middle of the rug!!! No need to pump the stomach!!! She has vomited twice since and there is nothing left in there. She is not happy but the chocolate is gone. I have learned my lesson, and I am more prepared if it ever happens again!

Take home lessons:

1. Never leave chocolate in reach of a dog
2. Always have peroxide on hand
3. to get a dog to drink peroxide, mix it with peanut butter
4. after giving peroxide, take the dog for a walk. the activity will help induce vomiting.

My heart is still pounding. I would never forgive myself if I lost my dog because of something so stupid.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 07:28 PM
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so what was the calculation for peroxide? How many ml per kg?


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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rough calculation is about 5ml/10lb of body weight. for my 50lb dog i gave 50ml. for my 14lb havanese i'd give about a tablespoon.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 07:49 PM
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Thanks for the information and notes on what you did. Especially good to know about mixing peanut butter with the peroxide to get their cooperation! And, then a walk...

(I think getting an NG tube down Ruby would have been a real trick! Glad you didn't have to go there!)

Glad Ruby is all right!!

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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she's totally back to normal and has forgiven me completely for trying to force her to drink peroxide and making her vomit. She's a forgiving soul!

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 10:18 PM
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oh my gosh, how scary so glad she is okay!!! Yet another reason why I always crate Tillie when I leave the house!

On another note, you're an MD!? how awesome is that!? What is your specialty??

Tammy and Tillie
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 10:37 PM
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Oh, I know how you feel. Murphy got a dark chocolate bar on Christmas night. We caught him eating it, called the emergency vet and had to rush him down. Almost $400 later, he was fine but scared us! We now keep peroxide in our animal kit. Although the vet had us come in right away since he ate a potentially toxic amount.

I am glad to hear everything turned out fine for you.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 11:50 PM
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Wow that's scary. I'm happy he got sick before you had to pump out his stomach. Good job! I need to get a kit together. And write down that mine would be about 5 mil. Thanks for sharing .

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 01:13 AM
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This is a very sensitive subject to me, having gone through this myself (and having made a questionable decision at the time that it happened). I DO agree that we all, as hav parents, need to be prepared for if and when our dogs eat something they shouldn't, and that having hydrogen peroxide on hand is necessary, and as such I am very grateful for Tuss for bringing this subject up, and especially for sharing her experience and knowledge with us. That being said, I just want to point out a few very important things -

PLEASE be careful with administering ANY emetic. Chocolate ingestion in dogs is a case where generally an emetic is the correct way to go, but not every toxin should be treated with an emetic - there are toxins that can cause WAY more harm coming back up.

PLEASE NOTE the PERCENTAGE of peroxide before administering! Generally, household hydrogen peroxide is 3% peroxide, but it can be bought over the counter in up to concentrations of up to I believe 35%. A tablespoon of 35% peroxide is almost 12 times the amount of peroxide - basically, poison - than in a 3% solution!!

ASPCA recommends NOT mixing in food or water, and also recommends only 1 teaspoon of 3% peroxide per 5lbs of body weight as an emetic: However, and this just a personal opinion - I don't know that the amount to be administered is really a linear equation per pound of body weight. I know that it took more than 2 tablespoons of (3%) peroxide to get my dog to throw up after eating part of a chocolate brownie that my daughter left in the car, and he didn't even weigh 10 lbs at the time.

Finally, chances are that if your dog ate only a bite or so of chocolate, especially depending on the concentration of pure chocolate in what they ate, they might be OK, and might be better off just passing it through their system than also ingesting peroxide, a toxin itself, as well. What I mean to say is that chocolate is definitely toxic to dogs, but so is peroxide. And it takes a bit of chocolate to actually cause toxicity in most dogs (some dogs are more sensitive to Theobromine poisoning than others - for some dogs, even a tiny bit can be deadly, but for most, it will take quite a bit of pure chocolate to even see the gastronomical effects:, let alone severe poisoning or death).

I learned all of this the hard way myself. I panicked when Cey ate half of a chocolate brownie when he was very young, and I kept giving him peroxide - more than the recommended dose - because he wouldn't throw up and wouldn't throw up. He ended up being fine - he did finally throw up, but only later that night, and given the amount of chocolate that he actually ingested, I now know that I probably over reacted, and was walking a very fine line by giving him too much of another toxin to try to get him to throw up the brownie. As it turned out, he was fine, but it really was lesson to me.

The best things that you can do in my opinion are 1) be prepared (this means not only having supplies on hand such as hydrogen peroxide, but also doing research ahead of time to understand what things are toxic to dogs and in what amounts, i.e., everything I said above was just my opinion really - do your own research!), 2) call a vet when and if it happens, and 3) listen to your own gut. Not the gut feeling of panic of Oh My God My Dog Just Ate Chocolate What Do I Do, but rather, your real gut feelings. Not all vets are going to be right, if we know anything from this forum it's that haha. They will probably know more than you, but at the end of the day, YOU are the one responsible for your dog, and only you can decide what is right for him.

Wow, I'll get off of my soapbox now! I just really do want everybody to really think about these things so that they don't make mistakes like I did, with potentially much more disastrous results! I really am glad that Ruby is OK, and it sounds like you (Tuss) did the absolute right thing. I just want to make sure that people understand all of the issues at hand here...
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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heatherk makes good points as well. My vet is my neighbour and also a friend. She calculated the amount of chocolate (based on the weight of the dog, the percentage of dark chocolate and a guess at the amount she ate and it was in the range that was considered toxic that they would recommend treatment). She also told me that peroxide can also be toxic. When i called her I had already given her the recommended dose of peroxide with no vomiting. More peroxide could cause stomach problems. We decided that it was worth trying more peroxide because of the toxicity of the chocolate. She gave me the dosage of peroxide to give and suggested mixing it with the peanut butter (there is no way i could have gotten it in to her otherwise, because trying to pour it down her throat and trying to squirt it in with a syringe just didn't work). Also, she had just eaten the chocolate and I knew if she vomited then she wouldn't absorb it so there was a real benefit to getting her to vomit, whereas if several hours had passed then the benefit would have been much less.

Tilliesmom - I'm a general surgeon. thanks.

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