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Chocolate for Your Sweeties Not Your Kitties!

Even though cats are usually very finicky, they will actually take a bite out of anything, like Valentine or Easter Chocolate. Chocolate is the twentieth most common poisoning reported by the NationalAnimalPoisonControlCenter.

The highest level concentrations of theobromine and caffeine are found in dark chocolate candies and baking coco powder.  The toxicity level for a cat is 100mg to 200mg per pound. The most common signs of toxicity are vomiting and diarrhea. The first symptoms are usually noticed within two to fours hours after ingestion. Other symptoms are restlessness and enhanced activity. Coco is a diuretic, so the patient may be urinating more often. Advanced symptoms of toxicity are stiffness, excitement, and twitching. Spasms are caused by the motor neurons of the brain. Seizures, coma and even death can be seen 12 to 36 hours after ingestion. The early treatment for Chocolate Toxicity is getting patients to vomit and then lavaging the stomach. Activated charcoal is given orally or pumped into the patient’s stomach every three to six hours for 1 – 2 days in order to absorb the toxins. For patients that are seizuring or in a coma, this treatment is not recommended. Nursing care includes hospitalization and intravenous fluid therapy that is given to correct the electrolyte imbalance and dehydration caused by the vomiting and diarrhea.

Happy Easter! Love and kisses to your Kitty!