As a responsible dog parent, you probably read up about food that’re toxic to your pet and discovered that chocolate is one of them. If your beloved dog ate chocolate, seek medical assistance immediately. It’s an emergency situation and could kill him/her.
How much chocolate is ingested determines the toxicity level of your dog. So, while it’s unlikely you’ll be able to tell how many M&Ms are considered toxic, it’s safe to assume that the more chocolate is ingested, the more urgent the situation. Dark and concentrated chocolate varieties are the most lethal. Powdered cocoa or chocolates used for baking fall into this category.
These have the highest concentration of caffeine and theobromine, which stimulate our cardiovascular and central nervous systems, resulting in arrhythmias, seizures, tremors, and abnormal heart rates for your dog. If left unattended, arrhythmias and cardiovascular system collapse could result in death.
Toxicity symptoms usually manifest within six to twelve hours after ingestion. Don’t wait for symptoms though. Again, as soon as you find out, seek medical assistance right away. Watch out also for loose bowel movement, walking difficulty, hyperactivity, vomiting, and restlessness.
If your dog has not yet manifested any of these, do gastric decontamination or induced vomiting using activated charcoal. Control symptoms with anti-seizure and anti-arrhythmia medication, fluid therapy, electrolyte management, and cardiovascular support, with your vet’s guidance. After immediate and proper treatment, your dog should be able to fully recover within one to two days.