As many of you would know, chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats and also rabbits! These won’t surprise you that chocolate has no place in a rabbit’s diet – as it is a high carbohydrate, easily digestible food – it does not tick the boxes for a food your rabbit should eat.
There is also the issue of theobromine – the active ingredient in chocolate, (similar to caffiene) which in high enough doses can cause chocolate toxicity. Theobromine inhibits cellular adenosine receptors, causing CNS stimulation. The metabolites of theobromine increase intracellular calcium and inhibit phosphodiesterase.
The end result – within 6-12 hours is
Clinical signs of toxicity
- Mild – diarrhoea, thirst, respiratory distress
- Severe – tremors, seizures, heart failure and death.
Diagnosis – usually history of exposure and clinical signs – try to rule out other toxins.
So what happens if you eat a chocolate rabbit?
- Gwaltney-Brant, SM. Chocolate. MSD Manual Veterinary Manual. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/toxicology/food-hazards/chocolate