Alcohol Poisoning Average Cost

From 42 quotes ranging from $250 - 4,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol is absorbed into our pet’s bodies in as little as 30 minutes. The gastrointestinal tract rapidly absorbs this toxic substance, as does the skin. Products like rubbing alcohol, antifreeze, and even fermenting bread dough can cause poisoning in dogs. Most cases of alcohol poisoning in canines results from the ingestion of alcoholic drinks left unattended or spilled, though our pets are curious by nature and can easily become poisoned by ingesting other types such as antifreeze (which is quite palatable to dogs). Documentation has recorded many cases of toxicity resulting from dermal exposure as well, due to overuse of alcohol based flea sprays and alcohol containing detergents. As with any other household hazard, products containing alcohol must be kept out of reach of children and animals; incidences of severe poisoning can result in symptoms as dangerous as seizures and breathing difficulties which require a hospital stay and supportive measures in order to eliminate the toxin.

Alcohol poisoning occurs when a dog ingests substances containing ethanol (like alcoholic drinks and liquid medications), isopropanol (such as flea sprays that are alcohol based), and methanol (as in windshield washer antifreeze). Toxicity occurs rapidly as the alcohol is quickly absorbed into the dog’s system.

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Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs who have consumed toxic amounts of alcohol will begin to show the effects within 30 to 60 minutes. Symptoms can range from a mild intoxication to severe inebriation that can be life threatening. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a product like rubbing alcohol, uncooked bread dough, or cough medicine, or if is reacting to a shampoo, a visit to the clinic is needed. Your dog may show the following signs of poisoning.

  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Inebriation
  • Loss of bodily control (ataxia)
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypersalivation
  • Excitement which changes to depression
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dehydration
  • Slow heart rate (brachycardia)
  • Seizures
  • Heart rhythm problems

Death can occur due to:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood sugar
  • Metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the body)

There is also risk of aspiration pneumonia if your dog inhales his vomitus. Eye irritation can occur if liquid containing alcohol splashes into the eyes.

Types

Isopropanol (twice as toxic as ethanol)

  • Alcohol based flea spray
  • Some rubbing alcohols

Methanol

  • Windshield washer antifreeze

Ethanol

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Some rubbing alcohols
  • Medications like cough syrup or decongestants
  • Fermenting bread dough

Causes of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

  • Alcohol is absorbed very quickly by the canine body, whether it be dermal or by ingestion
  • Alcohol is metabolized by the liver, ethanol to acetaldehyde, methanol to formaldehyde, and isopropanol to acetone
  • The central nervous system experiences depression due to the alcohol
  • Hypothermia and hypoglycemia are secondary to the toxicosis
  • Alcohol is an irritant of the gastric mucosa which triggers vomiting
  • Excessive vomiting leads to dehydration

Diagnosis of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

If you are aware or suspect that your pet has consumed or has been over exposed to a form of alcohol, immediate veterinary care is essential. Your dog may show signs as early as a few minutes after ingestion but do not wait for symptoms to appear before heading to the clinic. Bring the packaging with you (the bottle of cough medicine, the flea spray, or the rubbing alcohol container for example) as it helps the veterinary team to know exactly what type of alcohol poisoning they are dealing with.

Your veterinarian will take the vital signs of your pet which can indicate heart rate abnormalities or respiratory challenges. A blood test can indicate blood alcohol levels, which are extremely important to know as the team moves forward with the treatment plan. Your canine companion’s symptoms will indicate the level of intoxication, too and you may even smell the scent of alcohol on your dog’s breath.

Treatment of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

The veterinarian will make stabilizing your dog the first priority. If the alcohol was consumed under 40 minutes prior, the veterinary team may induce vomiting (especially if your furry family member is asymptomatic). In addition, the readjustment of  body temperature and adequate ventilation are needed to bring your dog back to normal. Most dogs who succumb to alcohol poisoning do so because of dangerously low body temperature, respiratory distress, and low blood sugar. 

Intravenous fluids consisting of electrolytes will work to get your dog’s kidneys and urine outflow back to normal (as well as to aid in the elimination of the alcohol). Your dog may have been dehydrated which adds to the nausea created by the alcohol. Seizure medication and tracheal intubation may be needed if the symptoms are severe.If your pet has had a dermal exposure, his skin and coat will be gently shampooed.

Recovery of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

Alcohol poisoning is known to affect the brain of an animal first, then the respiratory system, followed by the cardiovascular system. Recovery of these areas, as well as other bodily functions and normalcies, can take time. With a mild to moderate exposure, symptoms can be lessened within 4 hours. With a more serious case, a canine may have to be hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours. Once home, your pet will benefit from a warm, quiet place to rest. Be vigilant in the future when storing products containing alcohol out of the reach of children and pets.

Alcohol Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Nani
Pit bull
9 Weeks
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Lethargy
Vomiting

Medication Used

Saline

My puppy has been throwing up for just over 24 hours now. It started slow and she is now puking bile at least once every 15 to 20 minutes. She also has bloody feces, which throughout the day has gone from solid to straight water. She will not eat. She tried drinking some water but threw it up shortly after. Then I read online it can hurt her stomach more so I took it away from her. I have been injecting her with 10 to 15 CCs of Saline in an attempt to keep her hydrated but wasn't able to get it to her until about 1030 tonight. My friend had given her some budlight the night before, I didn't see how much before I took it away from her. I'm trying to go through every possibility. Her sister is 100% healthy and playing. Could alcohol poisoning be a reason for this?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1064 Recommendations
I'm sorry that Nani is having these problems. It is unlikely that she has alcohol poisoning, but puppies are very prone to parasites and infectious diseases like Parvo virus. Nani needs to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible to be tested, and treated for her symptoms. Puppies get dehydrated very quickly and can deteriorate without treatment. I hope that she is okay.

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Beasley
Corgi
4 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I had some drinks with a friend last night. It was a mix of jack and Mountain Dew with ice melted. I left them on the end table when I went to bed and later the next day my roommate left my dog out when she met me at the gym. When I came home, the drinks were spilled on the carpet, and the cup chewed. I also see spots where she threw up a couple times. But she seems to be running around and acting mostly normal now. I just don’t know how much she may have actually ingested. Should I take her to the hospital if it’s already been a couple of hours and she’s acting mostly normal?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2484 Recommendations
Both the Jack Daniels (alcohol) and the Mountain Dew (caffeine and sugar) may have caused problems for Beasley, without an examination I cannot give you any solid assurance; if Beasley seems to be in good spirits and is not showing any symptoms I would keep an eye on her for the time being. If any symptoms present or she vomits when eating you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sophie
Golden Retriever
7 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

death
Vomiting
Fatigue
Nausea
Increased Heart Rate
Diarrhea
Lethargy
black tongue

My golden retriever was in perfect health and a very well behaved and loved dog. We suspect that she might have been poisoned. The man who carried her body after she died had a severe allergic reaction and had to be rushed to the hospital due to inability to breath. He is not allergic to dogs. They sealed her body and refused to do a necropsy or to cremate because they didn’t want to risk the safety of the workers. She was fine the night before and she passed away at 11am the next morning. She had been let out for potty and play from 7-11. No rat poisoning found in yard or any other substance.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1064 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without a necropsy, or more information on what might have happened, I can't comment on whether Sophie may have been poisoned. That would be incredibly sad if she were, and your loss is incredibly sad, regardless. I am sorry that that happened to her.

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Hunter
Miniature Pinscher
5 Months
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of appetite lethargy reduced. Vision
death
Vommiting
Diarrhea, lethargy
Loss of Balance
Increased Heart Rate

Did my dog died from poisoning or because of the anti rabbis vaccine? He had anti rabbis vaccine two weeks ago but he was active not until the last two days. He was still hyper two nights before but he suddenly became lethargic and he was already vomiting. Before, he eats everything in his plate even though he is already full but suddenly he doesn't even drink a sip of water. This morning he was too thin already and suddenly lost his balance this night. We planned on taking him on a veterinarian tomorrow morning but he died a few hours ago. But he already smells like he already died for two days when he was just dying at that time. Please help me. Thank you very much.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2484 Recommendations

Sudden death in puppies is always stressful and upsetting; I cannot tell you the cause, a necropsy would give you more information. Rabies vaccines usually cause a reaction within hours or days of administration, two weeks is a long time between vaccination and death (although it is a possibility); puppies may be born with congenital disorders or with infections (like cardiac parvo) which may cause death at an early age, obviously poisoning may affect a dog at any age. Again, a necropsy would be valuable if you are looking for definitive answers. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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