The Chocolate Incident: What happens when your dog eats chocolate

The Chocolate Incident: What happens when your dog eats chocolate
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Nobody ever wants to find out that their dog has stolen some chocolate and scoffed it down. But what do you do if your dog eats chocolate? Luna scared me this week by doing just that so here is our story.

Monday

My busiest day of the week and although I’d popped in throughout the day to spend time with Luna, I didnt officially get home until 9pm. I was catching up with my mum to find out how Luna had been throughout the day so I didn’t go in to see her until about 9:15. Of course I was super happy to see her just as she was to see me but then I spotted something in her bed.

I quickly went from curiosity to panic when I saw that it was a chocolate wrapper. I had no idea what to do other than to ring the vets and get some advice. However, I knew it would be important to find out whether she’d eaten the whole 360g bar or just a couple of squares. My dad confirmed that she had eaten most of the bar so I quickly rang the vets as I knew that wasn’t good. The vet told me it was quite serious and that I should bring Luna in immediately. So, at 9:36pm I rushed Luna to the vets accompanied by my best friend.

Now, Luna is an anxious dog and is not a fan of the vets. However, the out of hours vet who was there that night was very good with her and she happily went in to the examination room. Until he started examining her where she kept edging away from him.

Quote from the vet:

 

 “I’ve examined patients on the floor, in the waiting room and on the table….but never under the table before”

The vet checked her over and as we had got to the vets so soon, he was positive that the chocolate wouldn’t have got into her system yet. He led Luna away to the hospital area to give her an injection to make her vomit to get the chocolate out of her body. Meanwhile, we waited for approximately 45 minutes in the reception waiting area.

Finally, Luna appeared in reception. She was feeling very sorry for herself and wanted lots of attention. I felt so helpless as I could only try to reassure her that it would be okay. She must have had no idea what was happening. She was sick again in the reception so we had to wait a further 15 minutes before we could leave.

picture of a dog

Medicine time

The vet gave me two bottles of liquid charcoal medicine to give to Luna; one later in the evening and one with breakfast in the morning. He told me to pour it in her bowl and mix her food in. Sounds simple. I can do that.

An hour after we got home and it’s time for bottle number one. It was now around midnight and I took Luna into the kitchen to get her food and medicine ready. She was still feeling sorry for herself but got excited that food might be coming. However, when she saw what was in the bowl, she sniffed it and turned her nose up. Wondering what I could do to get her to take the medicine, I tipped a few more biscuits in on top. This was a bad idea. Luna put her feet in the bowl to try and fish the biscuits out of the nasty black stuff. This meant that the charcoal was now being spread around the kitchen as it was on Luna’s face and feet. 

liquid charcoal on a wrist
liquid charcoal on my pyjamas

I ended up ringing the emergency vet back at about 12:45am for advice on how to get her to eat the medicine. The vet receptionist said I could try a tin of tuna or a tin of wet dog food if I had any. Luckily, I had one single tin of wet dog food that I’d bought to try in Luna’s Kong. As soon as I’d opened it, her excitement rose. When I went to pick up her bowl, she jumped up at me. The black charcoal was now on my pyjamas as well. Fortunately, Luna lapped up the wet food/charcoal mix and I could finally relax slightly. I was so tired, I decided to leave the kitchen as it was, even though the charcoal was literally everywhere, as I had to go through the whole process again in the morning.

Bedtime? I hoped.

We have a baby gate on the kitchen to stop Luna from going out there. However, that night it helped me greatly as I was able to keep Luna and the spreading black mess contained in the kitchen. As my dad leaves for work at 3:30am, I needed to write him a note about the mess. Unfortunately, Luna is not a fan of being shut behind gates and as soon as I walked away to get a piece of paper she started whining. I quickly wrote a note and debated what to do.

piece of paper with a note on

I waited for a while outside the kitchen gate until Luna settled down on her blanket. Then, I decided to risk going to my bed, but I only managed to get half way up the stairs before the whining began. I carried on to bed and laid down (in my clean, non-black pyjamas) trying to ignore Luna’s barking while willing her to be quiet as my parents were asleep. A couple of minutes later, I knew she wasn’t going to give up, so I grabbed my duvet and went back downstairs.

I set up camp in the hall outside the baby gate. This was a good plan until Luna stuck her paws under the gate to try and get to me as there was now black on my blanket. Edging slightly further away, I chattered away to Luna trying to calm her until she finally went and laid down on her blanket again. I drifted in and out of sleep as Luna kept whining every so often. Banjo also joined in by meowing at me and walking up and down my body. He was clearly excited that he could see me in the night-time too.

3:30am.

My dad stepped over my head to go into the kitchen. This woke up not only Luna but also Banjo who started walking all over me again. After my dad had left, Luna settled down fairly quickly and I debated going to my bed. On the plus side, it would be much more comfortable and warmer. On the down side, I had to get up again to get there. I decided it would be worth it.

So, up I got, and I crept slowly and carefully up the stairs and climbed into bed. Oh, it was worth it. So comfy. Not five minutes later, Banjo was scratching at my door and meowing to be let in! I could hear Luna stirring again downstairs because Banjo was meowing. Then the whining and barking started again. There was no choice. I had to go back downstairs. Settling down onto the hard floor, I finally managed to get 3 hours sleep before the builders arrived at 7:30am.

Tuesday morning

Running on about 4 hours sleep, I put on my shoes and went into the kitchen to see what awaited me. The black had been trodded around the kitchen and the floor was slightly greyed. There were pawprints all around the edge of the worktops where Luna had put her feet up and on top of the baby gate. With the morning medicine, I went straight for the wet dog food and it was licked up straight away in one go. Phew. No extra mess to deal with. I used 4 or 5 dog wipes to clean Luna’s nose and face so she wouldn’t spread the charcoal every time she sniffed things. As it was wet outside, I walked Luna first before cleaning her feet and legs as she was bound to get muddy paws on the walk.

liquid charcoal all over the kitchen

Cleaning time

Luna was now nice and clean after her walk. That just left the kitchen to deal with. I decided to wipe down the surfaces first and then mop. Then I just had to wipe the freezer, garage door, back door, cat flap and umbrella. It sounds simple, but every time I thought it was clean, I’d look and see another patch of black. Then there was the matter of trying to clean it out of her bowl. As I had left it, the charcoal/food mix had dried on where she hadn’t licked around the rim of the bowl. Finally, I was done. The kitchen was clean, Luna was clean, I was clean.

Luna and I had survived The Chocolate Incident. I hope it never happens ever again and I hope it never happens to any of you. I am very vigilant when it comes to food that Luna can access but accidents do happen, especially when other people are in the house. Just know that if you even suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, phone the vets straight away for advice. It’s better to be safe than sorry and the quicker you act, the better it is for the dog.

An online chocolate toxicity calculator can be found here if your dog eats chocolate.



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