cocoa shells

I had a problem with wood chips against the house (artillery fungus),so now I am trying cocoa shells for mulch,has anybody have an opinion on coca bean shells as mulch.Thanks
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lots and lots of fungus. rather useless as mulch. smells nice tho. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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Tony Pacc wrote:

If you have a fungus problem with wood chips you are likely going to have the same type of problem with cocoa shells.
I had a neighbor that used them. The shells had a very nice smell when they first put them down but after a rainy spring the smelled like baby vomit.
There are many other mulches you can use. Stop by your local garden center and see what they recommend for you area.
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they are also deadly to dogs. lee
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you gotta have dogs willing to eat a whole lot of it. none of my 6 dogs ever showed any interest in eating any. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote in

acually, it doesn't take much, especially with a small dog. i guess some dogs really go for chocolate, but none of mine ever have either. another thing to watch out for with dogs is grapes & raisins. they cause kidney failure. my BIL lost a dog to raisins last fall. the 4 year old dropped her box (snack size) of raisins as they were going out. when they got home, the dog was near dead. the vet couldn't save it. it was a Rottie cross, so not a small dog. lee
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my dogs are crazy for chocolate. of course most chocolate bars have very little chocolate in them. still, none of my dogs have showed any interest in cocoa bean mulch. stuff is pretty useless anyway, not worth the expense. my dogs eat grapes and raisins all the time, in fact we had one springer-lab mix used to eat all the ripe grapes right off the vine up as high as he could reach. never had a problem with them. and there is documentation of foxes and wolves eating pounds of grapes when they can get em. turns out canines have a sweet tooth. again, doesnt hurt the foxes and wolves. in the case of chocolate they have identified the compound that is toxic, in the case of grapes they cannot find anything toxic, so it appears to be anecdotal, isolated and/or allergic type reaction of individual dogs. every year it seems there is something "new" that is deadly to dogs or cats. the latest is xylitol as in gum containing this artificial sweetener. YMMV. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/raisins.asp

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the problem is ... this is anecdotal. There are no controlled studies showing the toxicity of grapes. the dog is sick, people bring in the dog, the vet asks what the dog ate, and what the human can remember renders it anecdotal. obviously, lots of dogs, foxes and wolves eat grapes without getting sick or dying. they love them, dont have an aversion which is expected if they were routinely toxic as evolution takes care of instilling avoidance. why grapes may be toxic for some dogs is not understood. SO FAR, no toxic compounds have been found in grapes. No scientific studies have been done. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote in

first, foxes are not canus sp. so we'll not discuss them. where & when have you seen wolves eating grapes? i don't care if you feed your dog grapes, because it's not my dog. some idiots give thier dogs onions & garlic. they're the ones who have short lived dogs or high vet bills. not my problem. but for those who may be interested, it is nice to know what human food items should not be given to dogs because they can prove fatal. lee
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sorry, Family Canidae. most fox are genus Vulpes, jackals, coyotes, dogs, wolves are canis. http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/pdf/coyotes.pdf There was a science program on cable about wolves showed them raiding a grape orchard and it was stated then that wolves can be a problem for some growers as wolves have a sweet tooth. http://www.urbancarnivore.com/uc_online/pages.cfm?ID 
I am a strong advocate of feeding dogs species appropriate foods, that is, raw meaty bones which are dogs natural food. If the onions and garlic arent cooked (which makes them sweet) a dog probably wouldnt eat them, at least none of my dogs touch raw onions that fall to the floor while I cook. and none dig up raw onions, leeks, dont nibble my chives. Only cooked food is "human food", everything raw is natural for all other animals. What they eat in the wild is "natural" and most animals dont make "mistakes" in what they eat. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

The vet's article of one case is not a controlled study and the fact that the vet says there are no published studies on this topic (when there are) indicates you're quite right that this particular vet's testimony is evidence of nothing at all. And the fact that a thousand lay articles can be found hysterically warning about poisonous grapes should be taken seriously only after checking for authentic sources of this information beyond grandma-told-me or i-heard-it-somewhere.
However, if that vet HAD bothered to do a search for support data, there's plenty.
Eubig et al in the Journeal of Veterinarian Internal Medicine Sep/Oct 2005 reports on 43 such cases in the AnTox database 1992-2002. All the reported dogs had the same clinical signs of poisoning (vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy & loss of apetite) & the majority were testably hypercalcemic & hyperphosphatemic. So there is a clear-cut no-guesses-required method of assessing toxicity from grapes or raisins. The Eubig study could not identify the specific mechanism for renal failure, but the toxic cause & effect were unquestionable.
Morrow et all in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, May 2005, looked at ten cases of renal failure in dogs caused by injestion of grapes or raisens. These ten dogs had severe symptoms of renal degeneration or necrosis. Very aggressive treatment & care was no guarantee of a good outcome. Again the specific toxin(s) could not be identified but that something in grapes caused calcium homeostasis & renal system shut-down was unquestionable.
Elwood & Whatling in Veterinary Record April 8 2006 looks at several reported cases of renal failure in dogs associated with raisins & grapes.
A half dozen other studies could be cited in veterinarian & nutrition journals. While your statement "no toxic compounds have been found" is at least partially true, several have been named as possibilities. There are too many flavinoids in grapes, any one of which alone or in combination could be the culprit, & since it's not believed to impact human health there is never going to be sufficient funding to isolate them all & test them one by one on dogs. The toxicity to dogs of grapes & raisins, however, is unquestionable, even though the specific flavinoid or flavinoid compound is unknown.
So too the specific triggering mechanism in the the animal's body is poorly understood, but seems to be related to platelet production, heart response, & ability to expell calcium. The mechanism is unclear but the ultimate outcome (renal failure) is not in question.
Grapes or raisins have to be ingested in large quantities to have any effect at all. There's probably no risk in giving them one grape now & then, but if they went through a whole box crate of them, severe illness & death could be expected.
Other studies show the same response of renal failure in dogs that have eaten lilies or lily bulbs. So too garlic & onions can cause toxicity in dogs (and cats) if eaten in a large enough quantity, but if you gave a dog a small bit a table scrap of something cooked with onions included, it would come nowhere near a toxic level. Brocoli if it exceeds 10% of diet & especially when it reaches around 25% of diet is also notably toxic to dogs & many other animals, but in small amounts MIGHT actually be beneficial.
Knowing the possibilities I would not give my wee beloved Daigoro any grapes. But if he grabbed just one without permission & gobbled it down, I would not hasten him to the veterinarian.
I applaud your cynicism & suspicion that urban folklore is at work. But careful review of the scientific data indicates that for once the common masses have learned something that's correct.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Cocoa mulch does have four times the theobromine as a chocolate bar, but only a fraction of what's in bakers chocolate. Once ounce of Baker's chocolate could kill a dog. By comparison the cocoa mulch's degree of danger is slight because a dog would have to be neurotic to eat enough mulch to get more than mildly ill.
The often repeated baseless data that 2 to 5 ounces of cocoa mulch can kill an average sized dog is false, & was generated by PETA & widely distributed during a political campaign against Foreman's & Home Depot. PETA simultaneously alleged that cocoa mulch kills cats, which is impossible. The 5 ounce measure has often been repeated since, but an independent analysis done by University of Illinois professors Wiesbrook & Gwaltney-Brant said it would take 12 ounces to kill a dog, & even that is an estimate that sought to err on the side of caution.
A lethal dose of theobromine from milk chocolate candy would require a dog in the 50 to 65 pound range to eat FOUR POUNDS to reach a toxic level. This is why no child ever killed its dog sharing one little piece of chocolate, unwise though that sharing may be. Cocoa mulch has four times the theobromine of milk chocolate, therefore it is easy to speculate that one pound of mulch would be just as toxic to the dog -- if only you can convince the dog to eat a pound of shells with so great an ease as you might get it to eat a chocolate bar. Only a neurotic dog would get so far, so the "fact" in this case is that a very unhappy miserable dog with neurotic behaviors including devouring cocoa mulch just might kill itself.
But there is no question that dogs have presented to veterinarians with cocoa mulch poisoning, though outright deaths are extremely rare. Deaths are extremely common for dogs that got into pastries or fudge made from pure Bakers chocolate, however.
If a large dog could manage to stomach between twelve ounces & a pound of cocoa mulch, it probably would die. That much is true. Pile up that much of the stuff & then try to imagine any dog finishing it off! What are the serious odds of a dog eating three-quarters of a pound to a pound of such lightweight stuff at a go? We're talking about a threat to dogs that are already psychologically damaged, not to well-adjusted dogs.
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) wrote in

i had a German Shorthair Pointer that finished off an entire 5 pound bag of sunflower seeds once. it didn't kill him but i bet he wished he was dead... he had quite the impaction. fortunately there was no cocoa hull mulch back then, or he would have been the dog to eat enough of it to kill himself. he wasn't neurotic, but he *was* brain damaged (no pain response & grand mal seizures)
nice to see you back, paghat. lee
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My experience is that if you put them on too thick, they mold

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Tony Pacc said:

When used alone they tend to clump and mold when put down in anything more than a very thin layer.
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Rebecca on the garden show "Rebecca's Garden" uses it for the smell and as a slug deteriorate. I do not have any personal experience with it. Elaine

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