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Chocolate and dogs this Easter: an eggstraordinarily bad idea

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Chocolate and dogs this Easter: an eggstraordinarily bad idea 22/03/2016

Lort Smith Animal Hospital is calling for dog owners to keep chocolate well away from their pets this Easter as it toxic for them.

"Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine which dogs metabolise much more slowly than humans do," said Dr Russell Harrison, Head of Hospital services at Lort Smith Animal Hospital.

"If dogs ingest large amounts of dark chocolate it can be fatal."

"Most owners know that chocolate is dangerous so they keep it well away from their pets," said Dr Harrison. "However we underestimate how cunning dogs can be at finding hidden chocolate stashes."

"When you're hiding your Easter egg collection from family members, keep in mind that a dog’s sense of smell is a thousand times more sensitive than that of humans!"

"The symptoms of chocolate poisoning include restlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, muscle tremors and seizures," said Dr Harrison.

"If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to the vet straight away."

Dr Harrison said that different types of chocolate had different toxicity levels, with dark and cooking chocolate the most lethal. White chocolate is the least poisonous, whilst 70% dark chocolate can be toxic for dogs.

"If you want to spoil your pet at Easter, buy them some dog treats or bones,” said Dr Harrison.

Dr Harrison said that although the toxic dose for cats was even lower than for dogs, cats generally don’t like sweet food so their owners don't need to worry.

Lort Smith will be open daily from 8:30am to midnight as usual throughout the Easter period.

For an interview, photo or filming opportunity please contact Caroline Ottinger, 0417 305 310 or 9321 7286 or via email.

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