Dog Owners Warned as Christmas Chocolate Poisoning Strikes

Dog owners are being warned to keep tasty presents under wraps and out of reach after a dog from Glasgow became seriously ill when she munched her way through a box of chocolates.

Three-year-old Bichon Frise, Faith, sneaked into a room where her owners were keeping Christmas presents meant for family and friends. She was lured by the smell of a box of mint chocolates and after climbing over a pile of presents, took the box from a wicker bag and tucked in.

Owner Anne-Marie Smith, 47, said: “I got home with my daughter and she spotted the half-empty box. Faith had taken it into the lounge and eaten 27 chocolates. She had also been sick on the Christmas tree, we think she might have chewed the tree to make herself sick. I was really worried because I know chocolate is toxic to dogs, so we took her straight to PDSA.”

On arrival at PDSA’s Pet Hospital on Shamrock Street, Faith was again sick and became limp. Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains a substance called theobromine which attacks the central nervous system.

The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains and the greater risk to a dog’s life. Faith had eaten a dark chocolate mint selection.

PDSA vet, Hannah McIvor, said: “Unfortunately, Faith had eaten dark chocolate and lots of it. Because it was making her so sick, we had to put her on a drip to keep her fluids up and also reduce any damage being done to her kidneys. We also gave her medicine to help stop her vomiting. Thankfully, being sick at home seems to have helped prevent her suffering the worst symptoms and after being kept in overnight under close observation, she was able to go home again.”

Faith has now made a good recovery and the team at Shamrock Street hope she will be the last dog they see with chocolate poisoning this Christmas.

Hannah added: “Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery we are now going to raise awareness about the danger of chocolate to dogs and we hope Faith is the last poorly pooch we see this Christmas as a result of a chocolatey snack!”

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