- If your pet has ingested caffeine, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- If instructed, induce vomiting or take your pet to the veterinarian so that this may be done. Vomiting should not be induced in hyperactive or overexcited animals.
- Veterinary care may involve repeat doses of activated charcoal, intravenous fluids and anti-emetics, sedation and seizure control. Monitoring of blood pressure and heart function is important and arrhythmias of the heart require medication to treat.
- If possible, provide the packaging or recipe of the product ingested to your veterinarian to aid in identification of the toxin.
Toxicity depends on the amount and form of caffeine ingested.
- Excessive panting
- Increased salivation or drooling
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
- An uncoordinated or unsteady gait (ataxia)
- Increased or excessive thirst (polydipsia)
- Increased frequency of urination (polyuria)
- Dilated pupils (Mydriasis)
- Increased sensitivity to touch (hyperaesthesia)
- Blue coloured gums (cyanosis)
- Sudden death from caffeine toxicity has been reported.
EFFECTS OF TOXICITY
Caffeine is a methylxanthine which is similar to theobromine (found in chocolate). It causes cardiac and central nervous stimulant and diuretic effects.
Bough M (2011) Food-Associated Intoxications. In: Small Animal Toxicology Essentials ed. RH Poppenga and SM Gwaltney-Brant. London: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp212-214.
BSAVA (2012) BSAVA/VPIS Guide to Common Canine and Feline Poisons. Gloucester: BSAVA.