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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17906
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a 5 year old King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. He weighs

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I have a 5 year old King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. He weighs 25.7 pounds and was just found to have eaten 2 packages of marizpan covered in chocolate within the last 2 hours. It was 3.3 oz package of marizpan with chocolate (12%) coating. He is acting fine right now but what should I be looking for in terms of toxic reactions. Thank you for your advice.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 20 years of experience. I am happy to answer your question but first I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.1- How long has it been since he ate the chocolate?2- Type of chocolate (dark, milk, etc.)?3- Do you have hydrogen peroxide 3%?
The good news is that although he ate quite a bit (two 3.3 ounce bags = 6.6 ounces) likely less that half of what he ate was chocolate because they were chocolate covered. A 35 pound pup would need to eat 3.75 ounces of pure milk chocolate to see symptoms of drooling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and almost 7.1 ounces of milk chocolate to see hyper-excitability and an elevated heart rate. At higher amounts we can see muscle tremors and possible seizures.I doubt that he ate enough chocolate to make him really sick.The thing that may make him sick is the large amount of fat and sugar in marzipan. He's likely feeling very full and somewhat nauseous.If it has already been 2 hours or more since the ingestion then it is likely the chocolate is out of his stomach and it is probably too late to induce vomiting anyway. At this point you cannot change things much at home, all you can do is watch him for further symptoms now.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. This is also a good way to handle excess sugar.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.It may help to avoid further stomach upset to with-hold food for the next 24 hours to stop intestinal spasms and give the unusually rich food time to work through.If he seems at all nauseous to try and settle Teddy's stomach you can give either:1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hoursOR2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hoursThese are acid reducers and should help him feel less nauseous. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if needed. Then after his food fast 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 do notice a very rapid heart rate (more than 160 beats per minute in a small dog) 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. With all this fat and sugar you may see some diarrhea, but the food fast and the bland diet should help correct that in a relatively short period of time.If he becomes very nauseous or has uncontrollable diarrhea it is time for him to see his veterinarian.Best of luck with Teddy, let me know if you have any further questions.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so very much. I agree on all accounts and so appreciate the advice regarding not only the chocolate which was a limited amount only a coating really but the marizpan which was the bulk of his surprise "treat". I will watch him carefully over the next 6 hours and give him lots of water. Thank you again for your thorough response. Laurel
You are very welcome. Hopefully he handles the excess fat and sugar well. Please let me know how things went for him in a day or two.