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Posts Tagged ‘Golden Retriever’

Charlize and I are back in San Diego, Carlsbad, CA actually. Frog’s refrigerator was no longer functioning. For reasons unknown when I changed LP gas tanks the refrigerator still ran on the battery or direct electrical hook up, but not on gas. So I took her to a guy who repairs appliances on RVs. We’re fortunate to be in a place with many, many RV parks and experienced people to keep them going. Turns out it was just a loose wire to the igniter, which is what I thought the problem was but, of course I had no idea where the igniter was or how to get to it. Now all systems are functional again.

Yesterday, Sunday morning, my son and I took Bentley and Charlize to the Delmar Dog Beach at Delmar, CA, just south of Carlsbad. Charlize surprised me by going into the water without problems. She and Bentley had a great time with all the other dogs. Everyone was, for the most part, well behaved, particularly the dogs.

 

Charlize and her buddy, Bentley, outside looking in, so forlorn

Charlize and her buddy, Bentley, outside looking in, so forlorn

Bentley and Charlize retrieving in the surf.
Bentley and Charlize retrieving in the surf.

 

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I would never have anticipated it. Charlize is probably the friendliest, most calm dog around strangers I have ever been responsible for. When we arrived at my son’s home in San Diego she met their Golden Retriever, Bentley, for the first time. I’ve known Bentley since they got him as a puppy. He’s a lovable lug, typical of the breed, a vacuum cleaner when it comes to food, with a happy go-lucky, what-me-worry, outlook on life. He outweighs Charlize by at least twenty pounds, maybe more.

When we first arrived the two of them dashed madly around the house, narrowly avoiding breakage. We turned them loose in the immaculately planned and executed backyard that mimics a Mediterranean villa garden. They rushed about, banging into each other, tearing up the lawn with their toenails and having a grand time.

After a short while Charlize noticed one of Bentley’s toys, grabbed it, ran off to the corner of the yard and lay down with the toy between her front legs. Bentley stood stock still, not understanding, making no effort to retrieve his toy.

After awhile we all went indoors, including the dogs. Now Charlize had access to a cornucopia of toys and took advantage of the opportunity. She gathered several of Bentley’s chew toys and deposited them on a spot, carefully chosen, on the floor. Bentley went over to retrieve one of them and she rushed over, growling, and chased him away. After she deposited all the toys she could find on her spot she again lay down with the toys between her front legs and dared him to try and take any of them. He didn’t respond to the tease, just stood, cocking his head from side-to-side, trying his best to understand.

Then it was time to feed the dogs. To avoid any confrontations Bentley was given his food in his regular place inside while I fed Charlize outside on the patio. As I said Bentley scarfs up his food like a vacuum cleaner. Charlize is lady-like. She eats slowly, actually chews each mouthful and frequently does a little walkabout then returns for another mouthful or two. She rarely eats everything in her dish, leaving a few kibbles. Her mother must have taught her that proper manners dictated leaving a little food on your plate. As usual she left some food in her dish and asked to come inside so I let Bentley out to cleanup the leftovers. He got within two feet of her dish, his intent obvious, and Charlize rushed in, shouldered him aside with a low growl and swiftly dispatched the remaining kibbles. My mild mannered companion harbors a mean streak.

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Yes, well sort of, it depends, is that clear? Actually chocolate poisoning is not unusual in dogs, maybe because many dogs will eat almost anything. Cats are more discerning. I found one reported case of chocolate poisoning in a horse. That is weird because the toxic dose of chocolate is dependent on body weight. The published toxic dose is 100-200 mg/kg. (a mg, milligram, is 1/1000 of a gram, a kg, kilogram, is 1000 grams, a kilogram is equal to 2.24 pounds, 16 ounces to the pound. Let your fourth grader do the math.) To complicate matters veterinarians at the Poison Control Center of the ASPCA have reported problems with doses as low as 20mg/kg, of theobromine. So we will go with the lower toxic dose.

Chocolate comes from the beans of the cacao tree. The beans contain methylxanthines, a class of drugs that include theobromine and caffeine. Most humans can metabolize, break down, both theobromine and caffeine without much difficulty, in two to four hours. The half-life of theobromine in dogs is 17.5 hours, the half-life of caffeine about 4.5 hours, about the same in cats.

To complicate matters further the levels of theobromine depend upon the type of chocolate. Dry cocoa powder has the most theobromine, about 800 mg/ounce. If your five-pound Chihuahua (about 2.25 kg) ingests an ounce of cocoa powder, he will have ingested 800 mg of theobromine. Anything more than 45 mg could cause problems for him. Unsweetened Baker’s chocolate, contains about 450 mg/oz of theobromine, an ounce is still very toxic to your Chihuahua. Semisweet and sweet dark chocolate contain about 150-160 mg/oz and milk chocolate about 44-64 mg per oz so your Chihuahua could still be in trouble. However, your 70-pound Golden Retriever (much more likely to snarf down your chocolate) will have to consume about 14-16 oz of milk chocolate to get sick on it. A 400 kg horse would need to ingest about 8,000 mg of theobromine, that’s about 17-18 oz of Baker’s chocolate. If caught feeding Baker’s chocolate to a race horse you will be banned from the track, maybe prosecuted, it’s considered a stimulant. White chocolate contains very small quantities of the methylxanthines.

Both caffeine and theobromine are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distribute throughout the body. Both compounds are metabolized in the liver. The metabolites are excreted in the urine along with small amounts of the original, un-metabolized, compounds. So, if your pet is old, or has liver or kidney disease, the toxic effects can be intensified. With normal liver and kidney function, it will take about two days for your pet to eliminate a toxic dose from its system.

Signs of chocolate toxicity in dogs and cats include diarrhea, vomiting, increased urination, muscle twitching, excessive panting, hyperactivity, whining and when severe, seizures, rapid heart rate and circulatory collapse. Treatment is to induce vomiting and use activated charcoal in an attempt to bind the theobromine and prevent its absorption from the GI tract. You can induce vomiting with 1-2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, repeated two or three times every 15 minutes, if needed. One to,3 teaspoons of syrup of Ipecac, based on the size of the pet, will also do the trick. If your pet is showing signs of intoxication, get it to your veterinarian. S/he can sedate the animal to control seizures and flush with intravenous fluids to hasten elimination from the body.

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