Tia lucky to be alive after going on massive chocolate binge

A mum is warning pet owners to be careful with chocolate this Halloween after her dog scoffed 20 fun-sized bars meant for trick or treaters.

The sweet treats had been left in a bucket just in case children in fancy dress came to the door, but Tia the King Charles Spaniel managed to eat the lot.

Claire and Ian McAllister, from Bridge of Don, near Aberdeen, returned home from a night out to find Tia looking rather sorry for herself after gorging on the chocolate, which is poisonous to dogs.

They rushed her to Vets Now in Aberdeen, which provides emergency care for pets in the area, where she was very sick.

Image of a dog who ate chocolate at Halloween for Vets Now article on Halloween dogs
Thankfully, 11-year-old Tia managed to make a full recovery from her Halloween chocolate ordeal

After testing her heart rate, blood count and fluid levels, our emergency vets and vet nurses placed Tia on a drip and gave her activated charcoal which absorbs toxins.

Thankfully, the 11-year-old managed to make a full recovery from her ordeal.

Now Claire is hoping the incident last Halloween will serve as a warning to other dog owners at a time when the amount of chocolate in people’s homes is set to soar.

She said: “We had a big tub of sweets in the vestibule by the front door for any trick or treaters. My mum was babysitting and I don’t think the door to vestibule can have shut properly because Tia found her way to the sweets and had a field day.

“You can imagine our surprise when we came home at about 11pm and found the bucket upside down with sweets everywhere and Tia feeling sorry for herself, lying under the table.

“They were fun-sized bars and if Tia had just had one or two I might have waited to see how she was, but when I saw the amount she’d consumed I knew I had to ring the vets because I was worried about how that much chocolate would affect her.

“When I rang them they told us to take her over straight away. Tia was drinking a hellish amount of water as well, but they told us to stop her and then she was kept in overnight for observation.”

More on this topic

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Darker varieties tend to have the highest levels but it’s also found in milk chocolate.

Our emergency vets deal with thousands of chocolate poisoning cases every year, and there’s a big spike during Halloween, Easter and Christmas.

Surveys reveal 94% of dog owners are aware chocolate is poisonous to dogs while 55% admit their dogs have eaten chocolate at some point in their lives.

Corrie Dean, principal nurse manager at Vets Now in Aberdeen, praised Claire for her quick action in getting Tia to Vets Now.

She said: “Some owners may be tempted to wait and see how their dog reacts after eating chocolate, but the effects vary greatly depending on the amount eaten and the size of the breed.

“Clearly Claire did the right thing in bringing Tia to see us, and it’s good that she is now warning other dog owners, because at this time of year we see a big rise in the number of chocolate poisoning cases.”

The Vets Now clinic in Aberdeen, where Tia received treatment, was recently rated as “outstanding” by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It’s one of 60 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.