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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18587
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 11 month old cocker spaniel has just eaten a segment of

Customer Question

My 11 month old cocker spaniel has just eaten a segment of chocolate orange, do I need to take him to a vet?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

I am sorry to hear about your fellow eating one section of a chocolate orange. Though chocolate can be toxic for dogs they do need to eat a certain amount per pound of body weight to get sick. The chocolate orange I found online is 6.17 ounces of milk chocolate.
A 25 pound pup (usual cocker size) would need to eat 3.5 ounces of milk chocolate to see symptoms of drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and almost 7 ounces of milk chocolate to see hyper-excitability and an elevated heart rate.
At higher amounts we can see muscle tremors and possible seizures.
Since he only ate one section of the chocolate orange, and it should be less than toxic amount, it probably isn't necessary to induce vomiting.

Just in case he is extra sensitive I would encourage you to get him to drink as much as possible and to get him out to urinate frequently. Chocolate toxins are metabolized out through the kidneys and can be reabsorbed from the bladder so we don't want them to sit in his bladder for long.
In most cases mild chocolate toxicity is out of their system in 24 to 48 hours. We generally begin to see symptoms, if they eat a toxic amount, within 4 to 6 hours.
If he seems nauseous it may help to with-hold food for the next 12 hours to stop intestinal spasms. But if he seems fine I would take a watch and see approach.
If he seems at all nauseous to try and settle Oliver's stomach you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and should help him feel less nauseous. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if needed.
If he does seem nauseous at all to decrease the symptoms of stomach upset you can feed him a bland diet for the next couple of days. A homemade bland diet is a mix of 1/3 boiled minced white skinless chicken or lean boiled hamburger and 2/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow. Feed small meals frequently.
If you notice a very rapid heart rate (more than 160 beats) repetitive tremors or seizures then he should be seen by a veterinarian on an emergency basis for treatment. They can use injectable medications to control his heart rate and stop the seizures until the toxic levels fall.
But at his size with the amount he ate I truly doubt you will see any symptoms at all.
Best of luck with Oliver, please let me know if you have any further questions.