Chocolate is a delicacy which is enjoyed by most people and also other animal species. Chocolate is not healthy for dogs who love this treat.
The reason is their slow metabolism of the methyl xanthnine alkaloid Theobromine. The amount of theobromine in a product depends on whether it is bakers chocolate
(390-450 mg / oz chocolate ) or dark chocolate or milk chocolate ( 44-60 mg / oz chocolate ) in decreasing order. Dogs take some 20 hours to eliminate a dose of theobromine.
The toxicity of theobromine is dose dependent. The toxic dose is of the order of 100-200 mg / kg though lower doses have been shown to be toxic. If a 40 lb weighing dog was to eat say an 8 oz ( 240 g ) bar of dark chocolate it would within a few hours develop severe abdominal symptoms. Eating more may lead to death. The theobromine is a cardiovascular and central nervous system stimulant. While theobromine and caffeine are similar in that they are related alkaloids, theobromine is weaker in both its inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases and of adenosine receptors.
The advise and care of a Vet is essential in these cases. Intravenous fluids, activated charcoal to diminish absorption and anti seizure drugs may be required.
- Martin Eastwood