Ingestion of chocolate is one of the most common causes of poisoning in dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine and dogs and cats metabolise theobromine more slowly than humans.
The lethal dose (LD50) for dogs is 300mg / kg and for cats 200mg / kg. Cats are more sensitive but have little desire to eat chocolate. A dose of 80mg / kg is enough to cause severe poisoning. Even with an ingestion of 20mg / kg, slight signs such as polydipsia / polyuria (drinking and urinating a lot) and diarrhoea may appear.
The amount of theobromine depends on the type of chocolate. Only 24 grams of pure chocolate coverage would cause the poisoning of a 20kg dog and it would be necessary four times more if it was treats of milk chocolate.
The clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors, rapid breathing, cyanosis, hyperthermia, hypertension, restlessness and if the poisoning is significant, seizures, coma and death. Symptoms appear after four to 12 hours.
If you think that your pet has been able to eat a significant amount of chocolate, you should go to the vet immediately.
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