Saturday, April 08, 2006

Easter Candy Can Be Lethal to Your Pet


Peeps(r), chocolate, jelly beans ... these will be a part of Easter for many of us. You should take special precautions if you have a furry friend in the house. Especially when there's an egg hunt, candy can get left lying around where its readily accessible to your dog, and he probably loves chocolate. However . . . it can be lethal.

Chocolate, which smells so enticing to them (and to us) is particularly bad, and even potentially lethal. (The darker the chocolate, the worse for them.) It high in fat, which contributes to obesity and diabeters, and contains two potentially lethal nervous system stimulants - - caffeine and theobromine.

Theobromine is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. Your dog will become excited and hyperactive, start urinating a lot, and be very thirsty. Theobromine causes the heart rate to accelerate and/or beat irregularly. Other symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, and shaking.

Be aware of where the candy is, including in the trash, particularly if things have changed - if you're visiting somewhere, or folks are visiting you, things your dog may not be used to. A sneaky little dog, such as mine, will wait until it's safe, then ravage the trash can and escape with the goodies.

If you think your dog has gotten into candy or chocolate, call your vet and describe the symptoms. If you can't reach your vet, call an emergency vet center or the national Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680.

For a list of Pet Poisons, go HERE.

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