Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dogs and Chocolate Don't Mix

Did you ever hear anyone talk about chocolate being poisonous to dogs and wonder if it's true? Well wonder no more. I'm here to tell you first hand it is. On New Year's Eve, during a rather raucous celebration, our 25 lb. cocker spaniel went unnoticed as she stood up and scarfed a gallon sized ziplock bag full of chocolate fudge from our dining room table. Before anyone noticed she had polished off the entire bag of fudge and fled the scene, leaving our labrador, Abbie behind to lick up the remaining crumbs. At first report, it was the big dog that had been the gluttonous culprit, causing me less concern because of her size; however still worried. Keeping a watchful eye on Abbie, I continued to party on into the new year.

After about an hour with no sign of illness from my lab, and more than little sign of drunkeness from the humans, I hear a ruckess in the kitchen. Upon investigation, I find the entire kitchen wet with brown puke and a hyperactive cocker spaniel weaving between the legs of horrified guests who are also threatening to hurl at the sight of the mess.

And there began the all night vigil with the stupid cocker spaniel who ate about a pound of fudge. By morning there was hardly a spot in the house that hadn't been fouled and every towel in the place used to mop up the mess. By daybreak, the dog, who is blond, was chocolate brown in color and thrashing around in a bathtub full of water, lapping water from the spigot, and puking it back out as soon as she swallowed it. Having read about chocolate poisoning in dogs, I knew there was little to be done except wait it out and try to keep her from dehydration. There we were. Drunk and disheveled, in a completely destroyed bathroom, holding a convulsive brown, wet, shivering creature, and not entirely sure that we wanted her to pull through after the ordeal she had put us through for the past several hours.

Well she did pull through. Just like the time she ate a Budweiser can. She must be indestructable. I have since learned that a potentially lethal dose of fudge, for a dog her size, is about 5 oz. She ate a fucking pound! While she is still with us, I must say I have never seen a dog that sick. Ever heard the saying "sick as a dog"? It's pretty damn sick.

Since that night, I've been trying find out who brought that bag of fudge to the party but, so far, no one has owned up to it. I just want to send them a thank you card.

Next year, the party's at someone else's house.


Suzanne said...

I had a lab do the same, but with a white chocolate walnut fudge. I was in a panic when my ex called me with the news that Bear had eaten the fudge (he'd gotten into the closed kitchen after I'd left for work). Somehow, the walnuts were more appealing than the plain milk chocolate.

We'd had the dog two weeks and he tried to liberate some brownies from their rubbermaid prison. We dodged a bullet then, too.

I feel your pain. It's not fun when the dog pukes up more than their weight in 24 hours. My experience was on wood floors, but you're right, you do go through every flippin towel you have.

How's the pooch now?

Mephisto Phil said...

Pooch is doing much better. All back to normal as evidenced by crazy behavior (which is the norm).

TJ said...

It's hit or miss on the chocolate, the bigger the dog the better they can survive an od.

My great pyrenees scarfed an entire tray of chocolate candies and didn't show a single symptom, but then again he eats cat-poo so who knows :-)

Glad the doggie all right.

Paul Hammond said...

Glad the little guy pulled through. I'd dare say a lb of fudge would kill almost anyone, including a full size human being. If the chocolate doesn't get ya, the sugar will.

Anne said...

My dog has been eating and puking chocolate for 14 years. She is a mix that has never weighed more than twenty pounds. Friday she ate a pound of Hershey's Kisses. Other than puking it all up in her crate and drinking out of the toilet, she suffered no ill effects. This was the norm every other time. Go figure!

Anne said...

Friday my dog ate a pound of chocolate kisses. This was the fifth or sixth time in 14 years! She finds it no matter where we hide it. She has even eaten an entire box of assorted chocolates that had not been open! I personally think the chocolate and dogs thing as far as them dying is a hoax although she sure does make a mess with the puke.

Mephisto Phil said...

Actually, it's the cocoa content that's key. If it's a bag of Hersheys or other milk chocolate, the cocoa content is not as high as more dark, more pure chocolate, or fudge with a amount of cocoa powder. I've talked to others that have the same problem with their dogs. They simply get a taste for it and want it regardless of the consequences. I feel for you. It's a mess to clean up.