Chocolate is toxic for dogs, as apparently is coffee/caffeine. We know that. We love our dog tremendously but yesterday a careless mistake almost caused us to lose Speck.
Chad loves chocolate covered coffee beans and we had bought him some for a stocking stuffer. In our bedroom, I had been piling stocking stuffer gifts, still in boxes and bags in a rocking chair. I set the bag with the coffee beans on top of the pile and never thought Speck could get to it. There was no room, as far as I could see, for him to land anywhere in the rocker and he usually stays way away from it because he doesn’t like that it wiggles when he jumps onto it. And, we always keep the bedroom doors closed so Speck can’t get in there unless one of us is with him.
Saturday night I had stayed up til 4 a.m. finishing a project, and then got up about 8 and all day I planned to take a nap but never did. Last night, about 11:45 p.m. when I went upstairs to take a shower, this is what I saw in the bedroom floor.
Vince and Chad had gone to Wal-Mart from about 9 – 10 p.m. and I’m guessing Vince went in the bedroom to get his wallet or something and left the door not shut tightly and that’s when Speck got into this. He was sitting with Vince watching TV when I found the bag so it had been probably about 2 hours since he’d eaten it all. Within minutes, he began to get really sick. We called our vet, who was most unhelpful. He told us there’s not much that can be done if it’s been 2 hours since the dog ate the chocolate and suggested we just sit and hold him the rest of the night and see what happens. I think he fully expected that Speck would die. He’s about 12 pounds and he ate 1/2 pound of chocolate/coffee beans.
I read on the internet that 1 ounce of semi-sweet (and dark is worse) chocolate per 3 pounds of dog is toxic. I also read that coffee is worse and anyone with a dog in the house shouldn’t even bring chocolate covered coffee beans into the house. We won’t again!
With Speck weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces could technically kill him and he had just eaten 8 ounces. Panic was running rampant at our house. As luck would have it, Vince’s truck was parked in the middle right behind our other two vehicles and his truck wouldn’t start, which has been an ongoing problem with that truck and we’ve already spent about $800 trying to fix the problem!
Chad had to be at work at 7 a.m. but I woke him up at 1 a.m. and he took Vince to Wal-Mart while I stayed home with Speck. They got activated charcoal which is supposed to absorb toxins and maybe help the dog throw up . . which wasn’t seeming to be a problem. Vince had to buy the chunky charcoal that goes in aquarium filters and we crushed it and did our best to get some of it down Speck. Not easy!
One article says the toxins stay in their system for 17 hours and we’re about there now. One says they’re not out of the woods for 36 hours. That’s an eternity from now!
Anyway, I stayed up with him til about 5 a.m. when Vince came in and told me to go to bed, he’d stay up with him. I fully expected for Speck to be gone when I got up. He was so sick! He isn’t back to normal yet but he has eaten this morning and seems to have plenty of energy (who wouldn’t after eating your body weight in caffeine!) and hasn’t thrown up since about 4 a.m.
I believe all that saved him is that he knew he was doing something wrong and probably swallowed everything whole just to get it all down before he was caught. The coffee beans remained whole and I think most of them came up during the night. (Sorry for the grossness of this!) and when you figure the size of the coffee bean and the amount of chocolate that coats them, most of the 8 ounces he ate was coffee beans and not chocolate.
Last year I filled the stockings the night before Christmas and there was chocolate in them. Speck grabbed them by the toe and pulled them down and ate a few pieces of chocolate then too.
See . . I told you chocolate was bad! Seriously, please be careful with chocolate. If you have a pet, make sure gifts aren’t going under your tree if they contain chocolate. It baffles me that I consider myself so careful in so many ways and yet one stupid lack of attention to detail almost caused us to lose Speck.