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I just copied this from the "Open Roads Forum" for RV owners, that we read. It was on the "RVPet Health" section, and I wanted to help get the word out. Sorry the post is so long but I didn't want to edit and leave out something important.

MULCH TOXIC TO DOGS! GOLDEN RETRIEVER DROPS DEAD AFTER INGESTING IT-
MANUFACTURER ADMITS IT'S TOXIC! SOLD IN HOME DEPOT- TARGET-GARDEN
SUPPLY
STORES-ETC-
GET THE WORD OUT!
-------------------------------------
Yesterday, one of our clients experienced a tragedy and wanted me to
pass a special message along to all of my dog loving friends and family. I was
hoping you could forward this to your contact list.
My client was the doting owner of two young lab/golden retriever
mixes. Over the weekend, they purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their
garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away
from their garden. They set the bag in their yard. Their dog Calypso,
decided that
the mulch smelled good enough to eat so she broke into it and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical of her when she would get into something she shouldn?t have gotten in to. She was not acting lethargic
in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly. Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further
investigation on the company's website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs. Denise
(Calypso's mom) wanted me to pass this information along so no one had to experience the same tragedy she went through.
In Loving Memory of Calypso.
Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that "It is
true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it."
True information about the mulch can be found here -
_http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoa.htm_
(http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoa.htm)

This site gives the following information:
Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and
other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called "Theobromine".

It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really
attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred
in the last It is lethal Just a word of caution ? check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens.
Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate, which is toxic to dogs.
Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells
developed severe convulsions and died Cocoa be later. Analysis of the stomach
contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.
Please click _here_ (mailto:
[email protected]) to email
the manufacturer and request that accurate information about this product be posted on the packaging to avoid further tragedy. And please include Calypso's family in your prayers. Such tragedy is
shocking, made so much worse by the fact that it could have been avoided had the manufacturers taken some responsibility for their product.
Thank You.

Word of caution on reddish colored mulches: Tho they look pretty they contain arsenic. Best not to use any red mulches for ALL animals' sakes. It comes from pressure treated wood chips, and pressure treated wood is treated with arsenic!
 

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That's such good info, BubbaLeroy. Thanks for posting it!

I would like to add further to it, re: Blastomyces Dermatitidis. it is a yeast infection dogs get from inhaling spores from a fungus in the soil. It killed my basset Duke. :cry:

I have read so much about it, and we are convinced that it came from a load of 20 yr old top soil/manure mix we brought into out back yard last summer. BLASTO THRIVES IN DECAYING, ORGANIC, MOIST SOIL. It can also be CARRIED by BIRDS, thru their droppings, seed casings, etc. So be sure to keep bird feeding areas clean.

It's still there, in the soil, and realistically the only way to get rid of it, is to dig down two inches, and hall it away. We will have to wear masks, as humans have died from this too, many misdiagnosed as having pnuemonia. Digging disturbs the soil, making the spores airborne.

I found out today there is a simple blood test to determine if you have been exposed to it, I am having it done on Bo next week. It doesn't mean he has it, but it can tell if he has been exposed.At least I know the signs to watch for. if treated early, dogs have a fighting chance.

The soil comes out on Tues., and we are covering the area with cement, as in a nice patio.

Hope this info helps someone. Sandy
 

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Sandy, thanks for you information, also. We were so sad when you lost Duke and hopefully with all of us on the forum posting info like this, we can help prevent other tragedys from happening in our forum family.
 

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Originally posted by BubbaLeroy2
hopefully with all of us on the forum posting info like this, we can help prevent other tragedys from happening in our forum family.
That's why I love this forum. In December Biscuit posted information on the Diamond dog food problem days before it was out there in the general media. And besides these types of informative warning posts, the general basset knowledge I've gained here is priceless.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time post on these issues.
 

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I wonder if there is a safe mulch. Maybe the ones that have no dyes? I use the red in the front flower beds but I'll not put it there again. I'll cover it with another kind when I remulch in May. I will do some research on the regular cypress mulch and will post my findings.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Back when I used to work at a well-known big box home improvement retailer I hung a large sign over the cocoa mulch stating that it shouldn't be used where there are dogs close by and the regional manager made me take it down so I instructed all the cashiers to warn the customers. You'd be shocked how few knew about it. They stopped selling it eventually but I like to think I did my part :D
 
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