Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dogs & Chocolate

In a recent forum discussion, chocolate was brought up when a person's dog raided the Christmas M&M stash on the coffee table. We all have heard that chocolate is bad for dogs. A relative's lab shed some extra light on the topic. I'm not a vet, but here is how it was explained to us. The lab, Scarlett, had been boarded in a kennel where she contracted an illness that permanentaly affected her liver. Her vet said that it was very important that she never eat chocolate. According to him, the canine body does not have a way to eliminate chocolate from the system. The liver filters it out, and it continues to build in the liver and over time can cause damage. Because her liver was already damaged, it was important not to stress it further.
Revisiting the topic also reminds me of our own personal experience with chocolate. While Christmas shopping, I bought a pound of creme drops - you know the ones, wonderful white fluffy filling coated wtih chocolate. While in the next store shopping, my companion springer found the package of creme drops and when I returned to my car, I opened the door and the empty bag fell out at my feet. All the way home, she moaned and when we got home, she continued to complain loudly. Her eyes seemed dialated to me, so I called the emergency vet who said I need to induce vomiting by taking an eye-dropper full of hydrogen peroxide and squirting it at the back of her throat.
Well, we did this... nothing. I'm trying to remember all the things that would make me throw up when I was sick. A full stomach usually seemed to expel easier when it all kind of sat at the top. So I had her drink water. She drank and drank and drank. Another dose of hydrogen peroxide, nothing. I lifted her back legs over her front legs. Nothing. Sat on the floor in front of her and made whorfing sounds - nothing. Walked her outside, no good. Had her drink more water and had her run up and down the stairs - nothing. Another dose of hydrogen peroxide. You guessed - nothing. What else could I possibly do?
She was still moaning from her favorite spot in the house - in the middle of a big, neon pink bean bag chair. She LOVED that chair. So I picked up the chair, with her in the middle of it, and I spun around and around in circles, as fast as I could stand to until I couldn't anymore. As I clumsily sat the bean bag chair down, she stumbled out of it, and walked lopsided out the front door and barfed in the front yard.
So in case any of you find yourselves in a vomit-inducing situation this holiday season, maybe it will help to know what worked for us :)

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