Toxic choc: Precious pooch needs life-saving treatment after devouring chocolate treat

19 April 2022

PDSA vets warn pet owners to be vigilant.

PDSA is warning pet owners to be extra vigilant after a sweet-toothed pooch needed emergency treatment after devouring a chocolate Easter brownie.

Bunty, a cheeky six-year-old Lakeland Terrier from Kings Norton, Birmingham, managed to get her paws on an entire chocolate brownie – and what started as a tasty Easter delight quickly turned into a sickly nightmare.

Luckily, our vets were on hand to provide emergency treatment and we’re warning all pet owners to take precaution with chocolate treats.

Bunty’s owner, Ela Gardner (63), said: “I’d popped out to the shops that day and thought I’d treat myself to a brownie from our local bakery. I’d left it in my bag on my desk and went into another room for no more than a few minutes – but was horrified when I came back in to find an empty plastic bag and a trail of crumbs!

“I immediately started to panic as I know chocolate is poisonous to dogs – I’m very mindful about leaving food around and I didn’t think Bunty would manage to get the brownie from the bottom of my bag, which I thought I’d left well out of reach.”

Ela quickly called her local PDSA Pet Hospital in Oldbury, who advised she should bring Bunty in for emergency treatment as soon as possible.

“My neighbour drove us there and I was watching over Bunty the whole time, keeping a close eye on her symptoms. Fortunately, the PDSA veterinary team saw us straight away, but I was terrified because I had no idea how much cocoa was in the brownie, or how much it takes to severely poison a dog her size.”

Bunty was given immediate treatment to safely make her sick, followed by medication to prevent her body from absorbing any remaining toxins.

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “Bunty’s case was could have been a close call, but thankfully, her owner swiftly contacted PDSA and she was brought into our Oldbury Pet Hospital straight away.

“Chocolate poisoning can be life-threatening, and sadly, not all pet owners are aware of the risk. The amount of chocolate Bunty had eaten was dangerous for a smaller dog – consuming high levels of theobromine, the chemical within chocolate, can have fatal consequences, so it was vital that she received urgent treatment.  She was lucky she didn’t suffer further damage, and it’s a great relief to see her on the mend.”

After administering emergency treatment, our vet team ensured Bunty was set up with the appropriate aftercare so she could continue recovery at home with her owner.

Ela expressed her gratitude to PDSA vets that helped Bunty, and wants her traumatic experience to help other pet owners across the UK by urging them to keep a watchful eye over their furry friends this Easter.

She said: “Bunty has recovered really well at home since completing her course of medication – it’s safe to say we’ve been keeping a close eye on her. Apart from recently chewing up one of my Easter cards, she’s kept her paws well away from any sweet treats!

“PDSA were excellent and I couldn’t be more grateful for their help, Bunty means the absolute world to me, I couldn’t imagine life without her. I’d encourage all owners to be extremely careful with chocolate around their pets this Easter – you might think treats and chocolatey goodies are out of their reach, but they can find a way!”

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing added: “Without rapid treatment, severe chocolate poisoning can cause kidney failure and in severe cases, death. Don’t wait for symptoms – contact your vet the moment you notice your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have. By the time symptoms appear, the toxin has already passed into the body.”

Read expert PDSA advice on what to do if your dog has eaten something harmful.

Chocolate poisoning

If your pet has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate it’s important that they are seen by a vet as soon as possible. The treatment they need will depend on how much/what type of chocolate they have eaten.

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