We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Is It Safe for My Dog to Eat Chocolate?

It is a complicated question! Is it safe for my 60lb yellow Lab to eat two squares of Baker’s chocolate? NO! That could be life-threatening. Is it safe for my 15 lb Shih Tzu to eat two squares of my milk chocolate coated candy bar? Not cool! That was MY candy bar! But not life-threatening.

Chocolate can be dangerous for dogs. The amount of toxicity chocolate causes depends on the level of cocoa in the chocolate and the size of the dog that has eaten the chocolate. Theobromine and caffeine are the chemicals in the cocoa that can be toxic to dogs. But a lot of the focus is on the theobromine content.

Theobromine affects the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems of people and dogs. Toxicity occurs in dogs because it circulates in the bloodstream so much longer before it can be broken down by the liver. The half-life of theobromine (the amount of time it takes for half of the theobromine to be metabolized by the liver) is only 2-3 hours in people. The half-life of theobromine in dogs is 18 hours. If a dog consumes too much chocolate, an owner may notice signs such as hyperexcitability, excessive panting, difficulty walking, muscle twitching, vomiting and even seizures. Symptoms such as high heart rates and abnormal heart rhythms are not as obvious. Severe symptoms include seizures and death.

The more cocoa there is in a chocolate product, the more dangerous it is. Cocoa powder and Baker’s chocolate have much higher levels of cocoa than milk chocolate. Chocolate syrups and flavourings have less. Candies and bars coated in chocolate are also lower in cocoa than a solid bar. White chocolate is basically cocoa butter and sugar and contains very little theobromine.

If you have noticed that your dog has eaten a product containing chocolate, it is ALWAYS a good idea to call a veterinary professional (like Centennial Animal Hospital) to check if the amount of chocolate consumed is toxic or not. You can reach us at 204-269-8162.

Written by: Tara, RVT

Resources
(1) Fiona Finlay, and Simon Guiton, Journal List, BMJ, v.331(7517); 2005 Sep 17

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How to help injured and orphaned wild animals

Below are a few suggestions should you come across injured or orphaned wildlife.  First, you need to determine if the wild animal is indeed injured or abandoned without putting yourself in harm’s way. Try not to have too much contact with the animal or to disturb the surroundings. If you are unsure, it is best that you leave it be and call a wildlife specialist to notify them about the animal and its location. Certain animals like rabbits and deer often leave their young alone for long periods throughout the day. If it appears healthy and well, do not disturb the animal. 

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following policies are up-to-date as of Tuesday April 7, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. Please call 204-269-8162 when you arrive for your appointment or ring the doorbell, and one of our staff members will meet you at the hospital entrance to admit your pet for their exam. Once the veterinarian has finished the exam, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan.

2. We are continuing to accept 2 routine appointments per day, per doctor, but priority will be given to urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. If you're unsure whether your pet needs medical attention, please call us to discuss your situation.

3. The hospital is still OPEN with the following hours:

Monday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday to Thursday 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday CLOSED

The boarding and grooming building is CLOSED until further notice.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice physical distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this disease.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Centennial Animal Hospital