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Sad Hound Journal

Hound is fine, and before anyone starts in on why we threw it away, this was a weird chocolate we reviewed for the KUEC podcast, and it had a really bizarre waxy texture that no one liked, which is how half of it ended up in the trash. Generally chocolate is safely disposed of, but she somehow managed to snatch this one. (I was sitting there trying to do math...if a symptomatic dose is 1.2 oz of baker's chocolate, but this is only 70% of the cocoa content, how much would she have had to eat of a 2.6 oz bar to have symptoms? Eventually decided that my F in middle-school algebra meant that it would be a good idea to take her in to the vet. Naturally, this always happens at 10 at night, which is why I am now some $250 poorer.)

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Poor, sad hound! I'd probably have tried the ASPCA Pet Poison Control first ($65 a call) since my emergency vet generally refers people to them first anyway in cases involving toxic substances (ask me how I know; of course, it's nearly always late at night or on weekends).

Seconding the Pet Poison Control - very helpful when my two puppies-at-the-time ate a whole giant bottle of multivitamins. Based on bottle info they said probably not enough to do harm since bottle was not full, but gave instructions on inducing vomiting just to be safe, and soon I had two barfing puppies who were, like New Hound, sad for a bit and then back to their usual mayhem, none the worse for wear.

I've seen dogs get the treatment

The guilty look on their face as they start to feel barfy is precious. It is kind of like, 'oh, noes, I ate this thing I wasn't supposed to so I guess this is the punishment" sad, sad face,

Still a hell of a lot better than trying to force charcoal down their throat (which is still done in more crisis / dangerous ingestion cases).

it is ALWAYS better to vet and play it safe. new hound is sadder but wiser.

i'm glad she's ok.

You should add it as a note for other things that the patreon money for KUEC may go towards. I expected that my contribution was helping defray medical cost for you or Kevin, but I'm happy to have helped make sure that the hound is OK after eating food from the show.

I am glad New Hound is better, hopefully her expenses haven't reached Gir's.

Also, I love Garden Hen-Bob's shield. Please tell me you got to use one too while Mur-wrangling.

There is nothing quite so sad as a Tragic Hound. Glad she's OK.

But, um, Hound is $250 better than before? Try to think of it that way...

I was at the vet when someone came in with two dogs. It takes a LOT of chocolate to do damage. Unfortunately, the owner had ordered (and received) a bust of his wife in chocolate. The dogs decided to inspect the quality closely and did quite a bit more than nibbling on her ears. Anyway, it had a happy ending there, too, despite the large quantity due to the owner's quick thinking to bring them in.

Anyway, my local vet clinic published the math in a table that made it easier to answer that question (my transcription of the PDF here). Thought you might like to have that handy.

what is that chicken up to?

Looks like it's sewn itself a Captain America costume.

oh my.... McDonalds better watch out...

Emergency CVT here.
>Generally chocolate is safely disposed of, but she somehow managed to snatch this one<

Don't worry and you don't have to explain yourself. This happens all the time, to everybody. It was an accident and accidents happen.

>Eventually decided that my F in middle-school algebra meant that it would be a good idea to take her in to the vet<

If you have a smart phone, head to the app store and look for either the ASPCA poison control app or the Pet Poison Helpline Puptox app. Both are very informative and have searchable lists of toxic substances and plants as well as direct lines to poison control (ASPCA puts you in touch with veterinary toxicologists, PPH puts you in touch with a CVT trained to deal with these emergencies). PPH also has a chocolate toxicity calculator to help you find out if a dose is lethal and what to expect. To use it, you input your dog's weight, the type of chocolate and how much was ingested. And as always, you can call an e-clinic to ask for help. Its really helpful if you can recover the wrapper or product information.

However, the gourmet chocolate and cacao bars can get a little tricky since they can use different "parts" of the chocolate making process which changes the toxicity. Things like chocolate nibs or liquors. So even we have to call some of these things in because with the number and diversity of products available, its really hard to keep track of what's toxic and what's not as toxic.

Story time!
Last winter, I stayed over at our e-clinic during a snow storm and travel ban to care for our hospitalized patients. We also got a lot of calls from people having emergencies at home and were trying to field them as best we could. One family called me during the evening because they decided to make dark chocolate truffles with their kids and their lab stole two of them. I had them read me the recipe and give me all the chocolate products they used (dutch processed cocoa and melting chocolate, etc). I had to use the weights and our chocolate calculators to determine if it was lethal by the dog's body weight. My vet checked my math and we found that two wasn't lethal but he would have some GI upset. We then had to look up how to induce vomiting at home because for years, it wasn't recommended (ASPCA recently changed this again to case by case). The family was so happy that it wasn't a lethal dose and the kids were excited that they were going to make their poor pet throw up with magical hydrogen peroxide.

I actually used salt once. Granted I was still in high school, going on what I knew and we didn't have peroxide in the house. Couple table spoons down a 90 pound Irish setter's throat (the knucklehead found a tray of mouse bait my parents had forgotten to pick up). Didn't take long and up it came. 'Course he guzzled water afterward, but I understand that completely.

Followed by a vet visit and a course of Vitamin K just in case. I haven't ever used salt again, but I gotta admit, it was almost as beautifully effective as peroxide.

We can't recommend that at all in case the owner causes hypernatremia and accidentally poisons their dog with salt instead ;)
For a while we weren't recommending peroxide either because owners would literally fill their dog up with peroxide, ruin the GI tract and then the pet would need to be admitted for GI support. Even now, I generally leave it up to poison control to make that call and they do it on a case by case basis. I only got to recommend it because we had a travel ban in place.
When we induce vomiting in the clinical setting, we use a very tiny injection of apomorphine for dogs and xylazine for cats. The drug effects don't last long but we still give them an antiemetic as well. The xylazine is reversible too so we can give another injection to turn the effects off.

Yeah, people do get hung up on 'if a little is good, lots more is going to be much better!" malfunction. Giving the right dose and waiting five or ten minutes is occasionally beyond the patience parameters of some folks.

I remember one of James Herriot's stories describing using diluted mustard as an ipecac for a dog that had eaten rat poison. (Bearing in mind that that was English mustard - which is hot as Hell compared to the ordinary US version.)

Glad Hound made it through unscathed. (My sister's dog didn't, some years ago - not chocolate but a chicken carcass. He'd already poisoned himself to permanent damage years earlier by inhaling half a pizza loaded with onion.)

I've seen (Finnish) mustard used successfully for the purpose (friend and her dog - can't remember what the dog had eaten, though). A handy first-aid, since that's the kind of stuff you usually always have around the house.

Seconding everything kadaria said. As an FYI from someone who deals with the aftermath of REALLY toxic doses (seizures and whatnot) Pet Poison Helpline is cheaper but ASPCA is better at giving useful case-by-case advice. They are both super solid on chocolate, but if it's something less common and you are already seeing symptoms, I would leeean toward ASPCA.*

Chocolate dogs are my favorite to induce vomiting in because they're usually super happy when they come in (they just found delicious treats! And got a car ride!), become very confused and briefly depressed (why this strange feeling of nausea...) and then often become very happy again (the delicious treats have reappeared!!).

*Once had a guy tell me that when his dog ate stuff, he would call human poison control and say, "so I just accidentally ate this thing..." to decide if it was worth investing in the actual hotline.**
**This is not medical advice.

Hey, it's the internet. If I don't say that it's unusual, I'll get people going "YOU KNOW CHOCOLATE IS BAD YOU IRRESPONSIBLE CAD SOMEONE SHOULD TAKE YOUR PETS!!!" and...yeah.

It was one of the weird fancy bars, and I admit, I was a little concerned because of that--no cocoa butter, all cocoa solids, which is part of the reason it had such a strange texture.

I'm glad the dog is ok!

After our dog ate a jade plant and I pulled out my handy tube of activated charcoal (and made a mess of both of us) I learned that I could have used a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to make her vomit.

As an aside, Wolfram Alpha is also useful in computing toxic doses, and less specific than dogs and chocolate.

Here's how to save $250. When in doubt: just induce vomiting.

Get an ordinary bottle of peroxide from the drugstore, and some ordinary milk, and make the dog a peroxide milkshake. Give this to them outside (this part is important) because the vomiting happens pretty quickly afterwards. You need to supervise this process, because if the dog has eaten chocolate, what they're going to throw up is a chocolate milkshake, which (being dogs) they will just eat again if'n you don't scoop it up and throw it away.

Let the dog stay outside until you're sure the puking is over (this part is also important) and then post to the internets about how your dog just puked a chocolate milkshake and THIS IS THE BEST-SMELLING DOG VOMIT EVER.

What sort of ratios of milk and peroxide does one use for this? A tablespoon in a cup, or something more like 1-to-1?

...I don't know that I've ever measured. I'd say about half a cup of peroxide and about a cup of milk.

Condolences and empathy. One time our hound ate 1/3 of a pan of brownies. -_-;;; He was fine, just extremely fat and pleased with himself.

You can guarantee with pets or kids that the medical emergency will happen late at night or at the weekend and more often, both!

Glad New Hound is okay and is making a good recovery.

Glad to hear Hound is fine. (And animal-related emergencies are obviously related to child-related emergencies in that they both always happen at 10 pm or on a Sunday,)

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