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As we eagerly anticipate the season of love, it’s essential to remember that Valentine’s Day festivities can bring hidden dangers for our four-legged companions. While we shower our loved ones with tokens of affection, it’s crucial to be aware of potential pet toxicities that lurk amidst the celebration. In this blog post, we’ll explore common Valentine’s Day hazards and discuss Callie’s case of chocolate toxicity.

Chocolate indulgence:

The prevalence of chocolate-laden gifts elevates the risk of chocolate toxicity in our canine companions. Theobromine and caffeine, inherent in chocolate, can pose a grave threat to dogs.

Callie presented to MVMC after ingesting 10 ounces of 60% dark chocolate (a potentially lethal dose). The prevalence of theobromine and caffeine in chocolate poses a grave threat to dogs. On initial exam, she had a moderately high heart rate and was hyperthermic at 105.6 F (the normal range for a dog is 101-102.5 F). It was clear the effects of chocolate ingestion were occurring, and we immediately induced vomiting to remove any more chocolate from her stomach. Callie’s heart rate became increasingly higher, she developed ventricular tachycardia and SVT (abnormally fast heart rhythm), and her temperature rose to 106.4 F. Callie’s condition was quickly becoming critical.

Medication was given to treat her abnormal heart rate, protect her GI tract, and make her more comfortable as chocolate toxicity can cause agitation due to the caffeine content. Callie remained in the ICU on fluids and was monitored constantly overnight.

Callie’s heart rate and temperature normalized overnight and by morning she had a normal appetite. Thanks to her owner’s swift action and rapid intervention, her recovery is a testament to the efficacy of well-executed emergency procedures.

This Valentine’s Day let’s extend our love and care to include our cherished pets. By remaining vigilant and implementing preventive measures, we can ensure that the festivities remain joyous and free from harm for all members of our families, furry or otherwise. Let’s make this Valentine’s Day a celebration that our pets can enjoy alongside us, free from potential toxicities.