Cocoa Mulch Kills Family’s Labrador

cocoa-beansA chocolate Labrador called Moose has died from eating an unknown quantity of [tag-tec]cocoa mulch[/tag-tec].

Cocoa Mulch is made from the shells of cocoa beans and is a popular garden mulch not only because it looks attractive, but it’s also a good termite deterrent and is known to kill slugs – the bane of any gardener’s life.

Unfortunately the mulch also contains theobromine, a substance that’s toxic to dogs.


Theobromine is a chemical that, in low doses, can cause a gastrointestinal upset in your dog which is characterized by vomiting and diarrhea.

In large doses theobromine will increase your dog’s heart rate and he can experience tremors, seizures and death.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s experience is that mild signs of poisoning occurs when 20mg of theobromine per kilogram of body weight is consumed, severe signs will show at 40-50mg per kilogram of body weight and seizures at 60mg per kilogram of body weight.

Each ounce of cocoa mulch contains approximately 255mg of theobromine – it can be more or less than this depending on how it’s processed.

The bottom line is: a 10lb (4.5kg) Yorkshire Terrier only needs to ingest an ounce of cocoa bean mulch before he’s at risk from seizures – for a 50lb (22.6kg) dog it’s just 5.3 ounces.

If you use cocoa mulch, consider replacing it with another type of mulch – the sweet smell that cocoa shells emit is all too tempting for a curious dog to resist investigating, and eating.

If you think your dog my have eaten any mulch, contact your vet immediately. It takes 6 to 12 hours for the symptoms of theobromine poisoning to show and by then it may be too late to save your dog.

To watch a video on the Moose new story click this link => http://www.wcco.com/video/?id=28903@wcco.dayport.com

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