Monday, September 19, 2005

Death By Chocolate

Depressing news: No chocolate for dogs

The current issue of the respected British Medical Journal reminds us that "chocolate is potentially lethal to dogs."
[T]he main toxic components are the methylxanthine alkaloids theobromine and caffeine.

* * *
Theobromine primarily affects the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system... . The first signs of poisoning in dogs include vomiting, haematemesis, and polydipsia.

Other signs may include hyperexcitability, hyperirritability, tachycardia, excessive panting, ataxia, and muscle twitching. Effects may progress to cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and death. Most symptoms will begin to appear within two hours of ingestion, but, as theobromine is metabolised slowly, it can take as long as 24 hours for them to appear and up to three days for recovery.
As little as one one-thousandth of an ounce per 1,000 pounds of body weight can be lethal.

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