November 12, 2008,
J.S. asks from Boise, ID on November 08, 2008
Help - My Dog Ate Chocolate
I have a 40lb black lab who ate a giant chocolate bar last night and then got into chocolate today. She's never been one to get into things, so we were caught off guard. The chocolate she ate last night was one of the big Hershey's Chocolate Bar with Almonds -- probably 3-4" across x 5 inches long? I can't find how much chocolate that is. We just got home and she'd dug into a bag that had a king size Hershey's chocolate bar in it, and ate it too. We don't have a regular vet to call.
She's not throwing up, maybe a little more active than usual. Should I be worried?
So What Happened?™
Thanks for everyone's responses. She's shown no ill effects from the chocolate... besides looking for more! And now we know to be more careful about where the chocolate goes since she doesn't care if she has to eat through the wrapper or dig through bags to get to it.
P. answers from Boise on November 09, 2008
Each dog is different. Watch her. I'd suggest calling an emergency vet and ask them. Let them know you don't wish to bring the dog in, but need to know what signs to watch for. My understanding is that it is an allergic reaction, thus, not all dogs are affected. Also, if it's an allergic reaction, then are you looking for those kinds of signs? Something to ask a vet.
J.P. answers from Boise on November 09, 2008
From what I understand she will have diarrhea and be more active but I don't think you have much to worry about. Just watch her, you will know when something bad happens. Good luck!
A.S. answers from Denver on November 09, 2008
I'm with Britta, she'll be fine. Hersheys chocolate is a milk chocolate, there isn't much cocoa in it at all. If the dog had eaten a big thing of bakers chocolate she's need immediate attention.
My greyhound, too, had gotten into a 1# bag of Hersheys kisses. She had glittery poop for a week but was otherwise fine. To be on the safe side, call you vet just to be sure.
B. answers from Boise on November 08, 2008
I'll bet she'll be fine. Baking chocolate is the deadly stuff. One time my greyhound ate a whole big bag of m&m's and she was fine.
K.N. answers from Denver on November 09, 2008
Anything more than an ounce per pound of milk chocolate is toxic---so if your dog ate more than 40 oz it's toxic and you need to go to the ER (you didn't mention how thick the bar was and for reference a regular Hershey bar is 9 oz).
If it was semi-sweet/dark chocolate or baker's/unsweetened chocolate then it's even worse. If it's within 2 hours of ingestion then your dog can be made to vomit either at home or at the ER and the effects of the toxicity will be lessened.
Now if the level of theobromine in the chocolate was not enough to cause toxicity you are not out of the woods. Many dogs develop gastroenteritis (upset tummy/diarrhea) or even worse pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas) that could require hospitalization depending on the amount ingested and if your dog has an iron gut. Labs tend to be more of the iron gut variety.
If there are any questions I haven't answered here, please feel free to contact me. You can also look up "chocolate toxicity" on petplace.com, a very reputable veterinary website. Best wishes.
B.C. answers from Billings on November 12, 2008
I know you already have the answer, but big dogs can actually eat quite a bit before it will hurt them badly. My sister's lab ate an entire heart-shaped box of chocolates! He was fine. They had it figured out how much chocolate per pound of the dog, but I can't remember what it was now.