Dog Ate Palmer’S Cocoa Butter

Published 10:01 , 10 June 2020 BST | Last updated 10:02 , 10 June 2020 BST

A shaken-up dog owner is sending out a warning to other owners after she claimed her beloved pooch almost died after she stormed him with cocoa butter moisturiser on her hands.

Sarah Brown, 39, had just finished applying her cocoa butter hand cream before bed a few weeks ago when her six-year-old rescue Blondie came running in for a cuddle.

As the couple laid down to sleep, shortly after they heard a lot thud and when husband Sammy, 38, ran downstairs, he found the dog having a seizure on the floor and losing bowel control.

The terrified pair rushed their Kangal Shepherd to the emergency vets as her condition rapidly deteriorated, with her skin turning a “glowing neon red” and shaking “ferociously”.

Sarah spent almost £500 on tests to find out what had caused the seizure with vets concluding it was “very likely” a reaction to her hand cream. The cocoa butter cream contains the compound theobromine, which is dangerous for dogs.

Theobromine is the same compound thats found in chocolate which is known to be fatal to the animals when consumed.

“It was terrifying and out of the blue. I felt terrible because I thought Ive done this,” said Sarah, from Lowestoft, Suffolk.

“We could have had a different tale to tell. We thought she was a goner and not going to last through the night.

“This is me saying its happened to me and please be careful. Its about raising awareness. If this can save it happening to others, thats brilliant.

“Im really gutted I cant use that cream anymore because I love it. Ill stick with [the brand I used] but maybe I should use coconut oil instead.

“Weve passed the £500 mark with tests and medication shes had. But lesson learned – it wont happen again.”

Sarah adopted their beloved Blondie from Turkey, who had been living on the streets and came to them with both his ears cut off.

Sarah explained: “I usually put the cream on my hands before going to sleep and this particular night she decided to come up to say goodnight for five minutes.

“She jumped up on the bed. Id had the hand cream on for five minutes and Id fully absorbed it. Id spent a lot of time rubbing it in and thought Id got all the excess off.

“I started giving her a bit of fuss and gently giving a massage around her face. She was loving it – she was happy.

“She then jumped off the bed and ran downstairs. Thats not unusual – shes quite an independent dog after being on the streets.

“But within 10 minutes we heard an almighty racket, as if shed fallen or knocked something over.

“My husband went downstairs and shed had the seizure. When he found her shed messed herself. There was poo all over the kitchen area and shed wet herself.

“She was having a seizure on the floor, her face was swollen, her cheeks were bright red. Her skin had gone a neon red – like really bright pink. She was glowing, almost.”

As they sat with their sick dog, they called the vet who asked if shed been exposed to any poisons.

“I rang the vet because she was very limp, unresponsive and ferociously shaking her head,” Sarah recalled.

“The first thing he said to me was has she come into any poisons or picked anything up? We normally walk her every day but that particular day we hadnt because my stepdaughter visited.

“Shed been in the garden so she hadnt been anywhere unusual. We ruled out poisons straight away – without thinking about the hand cream.

“We spent the night monitoring her. He said if she had another seizure within the next hour we had to take her to be seen but with COVID-19 they were trying to put us off until the following morning.

“The next day, the Friday morning, it dawned on me. I had the hand cream on the bedside table and looked at the bottle and the first thing I saw was cocoa. The penny dropped.

“I took the hand cream along with us to the vets and explained. The first thing the vet had said to me was was it poison?

“She had all the tests monitoring her brain activity, vital organs, and everything was normal. They ruled out an ongoing problem.

“Then they asked the questions about the hand cream and with the cocoa butter they said without further investigation, it was very likely that.

“I didnt give the cream a second thought [initially]. I dont know if its just a one-off with my dog or if its toxic by absorbing into their skin.

“All I know is she had a seizure due to an allergic reaction to that cream. Shes had everything else ruled out and thats what the conclusion was.”

Since the horrifying incident, Sarah says shes been checking all of her beauty products for the dangerous ingredient – and we think well doing the same.

“Since that happened Ive been checking all my creams. Ive come across a brand thats got palm oil in – we all know how dangerous that is to dogs,” she said.

“A lot of people have commented saying oh my god, I always put lotion on my legs and my dog licks them.”

If youre unsure, the Kennel Club has created a helpful guide on the dog poisons you might find in your home, from you kitchen to cleaning and medical cupboards.

If they consume a lot of cocoa butter, you and your pooch may be in for a rough ride. The high fat content can cause stomach upset. The most common symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms should go away within 24-48 hours.

“She then jumped off the bed and ran downstairs. Thats not unusual – shes quite an independent dog after being on the streets.

“Then they asked the questions about the hand cream and with the cocoa butter they said without further investigation, it was very likely that.

“Shed been in the garden so she hadnt been anywhere unusual. We ruled out poisons straight away – without thinking about the hand cream.

“All I know is she had a seizure due to an allergic reaction to that cream. Shes had everything else ruled out and thats what the conclusion was.”

“I took the hand cream along with us to the vets and explained. The first thing the vet had said to me was was it poison?

FAQ

Is Palmer’s cocoa butter toxic to dogs?

Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from the cocoa plant, and although it is found in a variety of sweet treats, it’s not “chocolate.” The extract contains minimal to no levels of the toxic-to-dog chemical theobromine, meaning it is safe to use, specifically in balms and other topical treatments.

What happens if dog eats cocoa butter?

Baking chocolate contains the highest amount of theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine. While most dogs who consume cocoa butter will get sick to their stomach, in some dogs the theobromine can cauase seizures and abnormal heart rates. In a worst-case scenario, it can be fatal.

What percentage of cocoa is toxic to dogs?

Therefore, a ten-pound dog would need to ingest more than 80 ounces of white chocolate to experience mild to moderate toxicity, but only about 0.2 to 0.3 ounces (about 6 to 9 grams) of baking chocolate. Dry cocoa powder is the most toxic, causing toxic effects at as little as 0.14 ounces (4 grams) for a ten-pound dog.

Can you eat Palmers cocoa butter?

People can eat pure cocoa butter but should not ingest cocoa butter products designed for the skin. As with many skin care products, cocoa butter formulations may contain other ingredients that could irritate the skin.