What is Bread Dough (Ethanol) Poisoning?
Bread dough poisoning in dogs is caused by dogs consuming uncooked bread dough with yeast. The dog stomach provides an environment of darkness and warmth and serves as an “oven” for the bread dough. This causes the bread dough with yeast to continue to rise within the dog. Gastric distention, central nervous system depression, and abnormal level of acid within the dog’s body will occur. Ethanol, a poisonous chemical, is produced when the sugars are fermented by the yeast. This is highly dangerous to dogs in the same form as alcohol toxicity.
Bread dough poisoning in dogs is a result of dogs consuming raw bread dough with yeast. The fermentation from the yeast produces a chemical known as ethanol, which is poisonous to dogs.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Bread Dough (Ethanol) Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog has consumed raw bread dough with yeast, he will develop specific symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Ataxia (loss of control and movement of the body)
- Distended abdomen
- Attempts at vomiting
The fact that the blood ethanol levels will be abnormally high, along with the fact that the dog ate the raw bread dough, will lead the veterinarian to a diagnosis. There are a few differential diagnoses that may share very similar symptoms. Differential diagnoses include:
- Gastric dilation
- Obstruction of a foreign body
- Toxicosis due to ethylene glycol
- Ingestion of other known depressants similar to ethanol
Causes of Bread Dough (Ethanol) Poisoning in Dogs
The cause of bread dough toxicity in dogs is the production of ethanol from the yeast in the raw dough as the sugars ferment, and this ethanol being absorbed into the bloodstream of the dog which can produce serious symptoms. Many canines are highly food oriented, because of this great care should be taken when our pets are around foods that can be toxic. The ingestion of what seems like a harmless substance can cause illness.
Diagnosis of Bread Dough (Ethanol) Poisoning in Dogs
Diagnosis of bread dough poisoning must be based on the clinical signs and the knowledge of the fact that the dog consumed the bread dough. The veterinarian will do blood work to test the levels of ethanol, as they are markedly increased in this form of toxicity. The levels of ethanol in the blood will be significantly higher, due to the alcohol-like substance produced.
Treatment of Bread Dough (Ethanol) Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog is suffering from bread to poisoning, the veterinarian will perform a few methods of treatment to make your dog healthy again. Types of treatment include:
The physician may attempt to induce vomiting in your dog; however, the gluten in the bread dough is sticky, which will make the removal in this way challenging.
Gastric lavage may be performed. This is a method of pumping the stomach or irrigating the stomach in order to flush out the contents, including the ingested bread dough. Many veterinarians use the method of gastric lavage to help eliminate the stomach of any toxins.
The dog may be given intravenous fluids to help with the elimination of the ethanol.
A surgical procedure may need to be performed for the removal of the mass of bread dough. This is a more expensive option; however, if your dog has a severe case, then this may be the most effective option. Hospitalization will be required for this method of surgery. Before any surgery is performed, the dog will have to be stabilized in order to maintain the appropriate body temperature, be sure the heart is functioning properly, and be given plenty of fluids.
Recovery of Bread Dough (Ethanol) Poisoning in Dogs
If the dog was able to be treated in time, bread dough toxicity has a prognosis of fair to good. The prognosis depends on the amount of bread dough consumed in the severity of the dog’s condition. Once the dog is successfully treated, your veterinarian we want to see him again to be sure he is recovering properly. You will receive instructions on how to care for your companion at home. If your dog begins behaving differently or shows new symptoms, it is important to contact the veterinarian with any questions or concerns.