‘Death by Chocolate’ No Joke for Pets
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media release: 28 March, 2012
'Death by Chocolate' No Joke for Pets
While it may be tempting to share a sweet treat with your pet this Easter, chocolate is dangerous to pets and can be fatal, according to VetShopAustralia.com.au.
The online pet supply retailer said substances in chocolate which are safe for humans to consume can affect or kill dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and other pets.
“The phrase ‘death by chocolate’ is no joke when it comes to pets, who can suffer chocolate toxicosis, or poisoning,” VetShopAustralia.com.au head veterinarian Dr Mark Perissinotto said.
“Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a potent, potentially lethal toxin for pets. Unlike humans, our pets can’t metabolise these chemicals properly and are susceptible to the toxic effects.
“Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst and urination, rapid breathing, seizures, increased heart rate, coma or even death.”
Theobromine levels differ between types of chocolate. Baking/cooking chocolate are the most toxic, followed by semi-sweet and dark chocolate, and finally milk chocolate.
Dr Perissinotto said cases of poisoning are most often observed around Easter and Christmas when chocolate is abundant in many households.
Dogs are most commonly affected because of their attraction to sweet foods and ability to seek out and quickly consume large amounts of chocolate, he said.
“The effect the chocolate has depends on the quantity consumed and the size of the animal, but people should avoid giving pets even small amounts,” Dr Perissinotto said.
“This Easter, keep chocolate out of reach of pets and if you’re planning an Easter egg hunt, hide chocolate eggs up high and make sure each one is found at the end.
“We are all familiar with the sad, ‘me too’ face our pets give us when we’re tucking into a treat, but when it comes to chocolate, you have to be cruel to be kind and just say no.”
Signs to look out for include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Muscle spasms
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
Media Contact: Jemma Lenton 07 5453 4840
Address: 5/42 Owen Creek RD. Forest Glen QLD
Go to the Dr Mark bio page for more information about Dr Mark Perissinotto.