Why Chocolate is Bad for Dogs

Tomorrow is Valentines day and you may not know what gifts you are getting but if chocolate is one of them do not be tempted to share it with your dog. Most people know that chocolate is bad for pets but we hear it so much that it can become something we ignore. Let’s have a little reminder of why this delicious treat is only a treat for humans.

Dogs are the most susceptible to chocolate poisoning because of their habit of rapid consumption. They have an inability to process theobromine properly and this is the main chemical in chocolate that is toxic to your dog. Once your dog has eaten it, it can stay in their blood stream for up to 24 hours.

Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Animals

  1. Vomiting and diarrhea occur 3 to 5 hours after consumption, and chocolate in the throw-up may perhaps be obvious.
  2. Central nervous system stimulation triggers tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
  3. Heart-rate becomes rapid and abnormal.
  4. Excessive urination
  5. Firmness, excitement, seizures, and excessive response to light and noise.
  6. Urine may contain blood
  7. Gums of the pet may turn into bluish hue after few hours of chocolate intake.
  8. Heart failure, coma, and death can also happen.

How To Treat Chocolate Poisoning

There is only a little you can do for your pet, especially in the home, to treat chocolate poisoning. Once the theobromine is in the blood stream it becomes much harder. Therefore, the general treatments are usually ways to stop the ingested theobromine from getting in to the blood stream.

Treatment options- Under Veterinary Supervision

1. Induce vomiting instantly, which will help remove most of the chocolate. (never try inducing vomiting at home unless you are under the guidance of your Albuquerque Veterinarian)

2. After that, make your pet to eat a small quantity of activated charcoal, which can bind completely to the theobromine and retain it from getting into the circulatory system.

3. Try to get your pet to drink as much water as it can to keep hydrated.

4. At the veterinarian, specific drugs may be used to help the pet make it through, like anti-convulsants, which can help if the pet has seizures.

Make sure to call your vet if your dog shows signs of chocolate poisoning.

While a very little amount of chocolate would possibly not harm some pets, it is safest to avoid feeding it to them in any way. Remember to keep your chocolate, sweets, chocolate coated goodies and cakes safely far away from your pets.

It’s Pet Dental Health Month!

albuquerque pet dental health

February is Pet Dental Health Month. Do you have a dog or cat whose breath smells like they eat garbage all day long?  Likely it is time to get their teeth cleaned. The great thing is that cleaning their teeth can do more than just give them good breath and nice teeth. There are some pretty serious health risks for not cleaning your pets teeth.

Start of Dental Health Month by taking care of your pets teeth, and maybe make a dentist appointment for yourself while you are at it.

Dental Health Problems

  • Periodontal disease is a painful infection between the tooth and the gum that can result in tooth loss and spread infection to the rest of the body. Signs are loose teeth, bad breath, tooth pain, sneezing and nasal discharge.
  • Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused mainly by accumulation of plaque, tartar and disease-producing bacteria above and below the gum line. Signs include bleeding, red, swollen gums and bad breath. It is reversible with regular teeth cleanings.
  • Halitosis—or bad breath—can be the first sign of a mouth problem and is caused by bacteria growing from food particles caught between the teeth or by gum infection. Regular tooth-brushings are a great solution.
  • Swollen gums develop when tartar builds up and food gets stuck between the teeth. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth at home and getting annual cleanings at the vet can prevent tartar and gingivitis.
  • Proliferating gum disease occurs when the gum grows over the teeth and must be treated to avoid gum infection. An inherited condition common to boxers and bull terriers, it can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Mouth tumors appear as lumps in the gums. Some are malignant and must be surgically removed.
  • Salivary cysts look like large, fluid-filled blisters under the tongue, but can also develop near the corners of the jaw. They require drainage, and the damaged saliva gland must be removed.
  • Canine distemper teeth can occur if a dog had distemper as a puppy. Adult teeth can appear looking eroded and can often decay. As damage is permanent, decayed teeth should be removed by a vet.

*List courtesy of the ASPCA

Make sure you pet does not get any of these painful dental diseases. Bring them into Albuquerque Vetco to get your pets annual dental cleaning. While you are here you can also get your annual vaccinations, your microchip, and your annual checkup. Make February you veterinary health tune up month!

Holiday Updates

The holidays are coming quickly upon us. To give our staff time to spend with their family our clinic will be closed on December 24th, 25th and 26th, as well as December 31st and January 1st. If you have any questions about our holiday hours, please give our Albuquerque veterinary clinic a call.

Be safe and have a wonderful holiday!