Sir, Easter is a time of great fun for the whole family, but I would urge your readers to keep chocolate treats safely out of reach of inquisitive pets.
Chocolate can be highly poisonous to pets, with dogs most commonly affected.
It contains theobromine, a naturally occurring chemical found in cocoa beans which, while safe for humans, is harmful to dogs and other animals.
If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, don’t delay in contacting your local vet.
The quicker the animal gets veterinary advice and treatment, the better. Your vet will want to know how much chocolate your dog has eaten and what type. If possible, keep any labels and have the weight of the dog to hand.
The effects of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually appear within 12 hours and can last up to three days.
First signs can include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea and restlessness.
These symptoms can then develop into hyperactivity, tremors, abnormal heart rate, hyperthermia and rapid breathing.
In severe cases, dogs can experience fits and heartbeat irregularities and some cases can result in coma or death.
Melissa Donald, president, British Veterinary Association Scottish branch.