Coffee is brewed from roasted coffee beans, which are harvested from many places all over the world. It is the favored drink of many people, and can help you stay alert and focused.
Unless you are a dog or cat (or any other animal, really), that is when it can become dangerous. While coffee contains antioxidants, which are beneficial, it also has caffeine and a chemical called theobromine.
We can also find this chemical in many types of chocolate. Theobromine serves as a vasodilator, diuretic, and heart stimulant, none of which are good for a healthy, happy pet.
The caffeine in coffee is a necessity for many of us, and some of us drink it religiously, but animals are likely to have adverse reactions to it. Some of the best coffee in the world is the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee; pick some up today!
Is Coffee Dangerous For Animals?
Caffeine is, obviously, not great for your pet, and it can cause them major health complications. While too much coffee can make us jittery and cause our hearts to race, an animal’s body is much smaller.
Many are unable to metabolize caffeine or theobromine. Theobromine can be toxic to your beloved fur babies. This is the same ingredient in chocolate that is poisonous to animals.
Not to mention that any added milk and/or sugar is not healthy for them either, and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and lactose intolerance.
What Happens If An Animal Accidentally Ingests Coffee?
Size plays a major role in the severity of toxicity. This means that a German Shepherd will not have the same reaction as a Chihuahua if they’ve consumed the same volume.
Accidental ingestion of coffee in small doses can cause hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, heart arrhythmia, and restlessness. If you believe it was only a small amount, your pet should be fine. However, you should watch for any symptoms, and react accordingly.
With larger doses of caffeine and theobromine, the outcome may be more serious, especially if your pet is of a smaller size. Tremors, seizures, hyperthermia, and even death is possible. In this case, seek medical attention right away.
What Is The Treatment For A Pet Who Has Ingested Coffee?
Depending on the amounts consumed, and the severity of the symptoms, medical treatment can vary. This can include emesis, or induced vomiting.
Once the animal is stable, the veterinarian will likely administer medications to ease any symptoms, such as methocarbamol for tremors and/or seizures.
There may also be cardiac monitoring, via electrocardiography, along with the administration of activated charcoal every 12 hours until symptoms subside.
Clinical signs can sometimes last up to 24 hours. Your veterinarian may want to keep your pet longer than that for observation. If you think your pet has gotten into some coffee, please do not try to induce vomiting at home.
If done incorrectly, it can cause aspiration pneumonia. This happens when the animal gets vomit in their lungs, instead of regurgitating.
What Is The Prognosis After Treatment?
The prognosis greatly depends upon how much coffee the pet ingested, and the length of time that has passed before receiving treatment. If treated quickly, the prognosis is quite good.
However, the longer medical treatment is delayed, the more detrimental it will be to your fur baby’s health. Even with treatment, animals can have lasting effects.
If you believe that your pet has consumed coffee, even in minimal amounts, you should take them to the vet ?for a health checkup.