Pet warn­ing

Argyllshire Advertiser - - LETTERS -

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.

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