While anecdotal, and not used on a human, this is my lifesaving story and the reason I will NEVER have a day without AC in my house.
I stepped away from the cacao pudding I was making to stir something on the stove in the other room. When I returned to the dining room, my 12 lb. dog had eaten half of the pudding. Chocolate is poison to dogs. Cacao is lethal.
The chemical theobromine is present in raw cacao. In large enough quantities it is even poisonous to humans as well, however, you’d have to ingest a ridiculous amount. For dogs it doesn’t take much raw cacao to make them sick or even kill them.
Poisoning symptoms for dogs include hyperactivity, excessive drooling, dehydration, refusing to eat or drink, loss of bladder control, seizures, shaking, rapid pulse, breathing difficulties, nerve damage, heart failure, and death. Knowing this, naturally I freaked out.
My first instinct was to make him vomit. I gave him a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and that didn’t work. I remembered reading that a big danger associate from theobromine is dehydration so I gave Mason water with chicken broth in it (to make it more appetizing). I’m sure that helped but later on when he lost control of his bladder, my poor little Mason could barely make it 5 steps to the door before peeing on the rug.
I called animal poison control, they informed me that the amount of cacao he consumed was very dangerous and on the cusp of lethal. By that point he had started to develop the shakes, along with symptoms of confusion, and lethargy– very scary!! I was informed that he MUST vomit the cacao and that if I brought him to the emergency center for treatment he would be given an injection to make him vomit, followed by some tests to see if he would need intravenous fluids. I had given him copious amount of fluids, but as for the throwing up part, peroxide wasn’t working. An hour had gone by, I knew I had to act and fast.
My next course was to try to give him something to adsorb the chemicals before they entered the bloodstream any further. I gave him one capsule of AC, knowing that is can adsorb toxins in the system. Within minutes he began to vomit and then he vomited 3 times in the next 15 minutes. At that point, I made a second call to the emergency line and was informed that he didn’t have to come in to be seen, we just needed to keep an eye on him.
Even though he appeared to have gotten rid of all the cacao in his stomach, I was concerned about any remaining cacao in his digestive system. I gave him another AC capsule (since he threw up part of the first one). After his second dose of AC he got progressively better. He stopped excessively drooling and became more alert. Within 24 hours he regained his strength and control of his bladder. We have not noticed any long term effects, suggesting that we stopped the progression of the poisoning just in time.