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What is Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning?

Raw bread dough that is made with yeast can be an unexpected poisoning hazard for dogs. When the bread dough is eaten, the dog’s gastrointestinal tract provides an ideal environment for the yeast organisms to proliferate. The mass of bread dough will expand in the dog’s stomach, pressing on the surrounding organs and causing respiratory difficulty. Dogs may attempt to vomit up the bread dough, but the glutinous nature of the mass will make this difficult. As the condition progresses, the fermenting yeast cells will produce ethanol and the dog’s blood alcohol level will rise to toxic levels. Like other forms of alcohol poisoning, unbaked bread dough can cause inebriation, lack of coordination, and central nervous system depression. Treatment can ameliorate the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and make it more likely for a dog to survive, but severe cases can still be fatal. In some cases, the bread dough may need to be surgically removed. Susceptible breeds are also at risk for a serious complication: gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). With this condition, the stomach can become misaligned and twist as it expands. This is normally caused by bloating and gas in the stomach, but rising bread dough can have the same effect. Gastric dilatation and volvulus are more likely to happen if unbaked bread dough poisoning occurs in large or giant breeds of dogs. Fatal gastrointestinal rupture is a risk if the stomach become severely twisted.

Raw bread dough that contains yeast can lead to serious and even fatal poisoning in dogs. The lump of unbaked bread dough will expand in the dog’s stomach causing severe abdominal distention. As the yeast cells ferment, blood ethanol can rise to toxic levels.

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Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning Average Cost

From 62 quotes ranging from $250 - $1,200

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning in Dogs

These are the symptoms you will see in a dog that has eaten unbaked bread dough.

  • Distended stomach
  • Retching and unproductive vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Weakness
  • Low body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Types

  • Early stages – the physical presence of the lump of bread dough causes bloating and abdominal distention
  • Ethanol poisoning – yeast fermentation causes the dog’s blood alcohol to rise
  • Gastric dilatation/volvulus (GDV) – susceptible breeds can have further complications related to bloat; predisposed breeds include Great Danes, German Shepherds, Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, Weimaraners, Saint Bernard’s, Standard Poodles, Basset Hounds
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Causes of Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning in Dogs

These are some of the causes and risk factors for unbaked bread dough poisoning.

  • Yeast dough left to rise in an accessible location
  • Feeding uncooked dough to dogs
  • Unused dough thrown away in the garbage
  • Dogs with a tendency to eat anything
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Diagnosis of Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning in Dogs

Unbaked bread dough poisoning can often be diagnosed symptomatically based on a blood test that shows high blood alcohol levels as well as severe abdominal distention. Other conditions could cause the blood alcohol to rise however, so a history of your dog’s activities, as well as any potential exposure to other products that contain alcohol will be helpful information for the veterinary team to have. X-rays could be required to ascertain the extent of the problem and check for GDV. X-rays can also eliminate other causes of abdominal distention, such as an ingested foreign body.

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Treatment of Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning in Dogs

In the early stages, vomiting may be induced but this is rarely successful with large amounts of bread dough. Drinking cold water can cool the stomach and reduce yeast proliferation as well as aid with the break up and removal of the bread dough. This is the best initial treatment if you know your dog has ingested bread dough.

Dogs with symptoms of alcohol poisoning will need to be stabilized immediately with professional treatment. Intravenous injection of fluids and electrolytes may be necessary to balance metabolic abnormalities. Fluids and diuretics will help dilute the alcohol in the blood as well induce elimination through the urine. Diazepam may be administered for dog experiencing seizures. In severe cases, yohimbine has been used to revive comatose dogs. When the symptoms of alcohol poisoning are stabilized, further treatment will focus on removing the lump of bread dough. In extreme cases, this may involve surgery. GDV will also require rapid surgical intervention to save the dog’s life.

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Recovery of Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs that are treated quickly and successfully can make a complete recovery from bread dough poisoning. This is especially true if dogs only ingest a small amount and are able to vomit it up on their own before the yeast ferments and the lump expands. If the veterinarian is able to stabilize toxic alcohol levels quickly and remove the bread dough this can also be successful; however severe alcohol poisoning can quickly result in irreversible brain damage and death.

Preventing exposure is the best way of managing the condition. Any unbaked bread product should be kept out of the dog’s reach. Any unused or spoiled dough should be put through a garbage disposal if possible rather than thrown in the garbage. Keeping your dog away from garbage cans and dumpsters can help eliminate exposure to bread dough as well as other toxic products.

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Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning Average Cost

From 62 quotes ranging from $250 - $1,200

Average Cost

$500

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Written by hannah hollinger

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 06/13/2016, edited: 04/16/2021

Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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2 Years

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Went to the store and came back and my female boxer ate my rising loaf of bread I had sitting on the counter. And has been vomiting since

Feb. 9, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Maureen M. DVM

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Hi, That sounds like she is reacting to the bread. Cintinius vomiting can lead to dehydration. Please take her to the vet for treatment. It will pass with time but she needs to be put on fluids and some antiemetics.

Feb. 10, 2021

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My dog got a container with 1 cup flour, 2 tbsp auger, 2 tbsp yeast (all dry ingredients) off the counter and ate it. I’ve been gone since 7am so I don’t know when he ate it. He is just fine. Will he be ok? Can I feed him and let him drink water? He weighs 105 lbs

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I think that a short 12 hour fast after eating those things would be a good idea, and limiting water to small frequent amounts might be a good idea. He may get some GI upset, and if he starts vomiting or having diarrhea, then having him seen by your veterinarian would be a good idea. He may not show any signs, but monitoring him closely would be best. I hope that all goes well for him!

Oct. 4, 2020

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Latif

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Cane Corso Italiano (Italian Mastiff)

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2 Years

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My dog ate 4 uncooked croissant dough around 2 hours ago. He hasn't shown any signs yet. Should I induce vomiting? or Should I take him to the vet immediately since it's not only just one?

Dec. 9, 2017

Latif's Owner

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I’m not sure if croissant dough is more dangerous than bread dough or any other dough but since the dough still contains yeast which can cause bloating and other issues (twisted stomach). I would visit your Veterinarian since it has already been two hours and you asked the question three hours ago so a total of five hours. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/bread-dough/

Dec. 9, 2017

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Farah

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Basenji

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7 years

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My dog ate a little bit of raw bread dough. It wasn't more than a small bite or two and it happened about four or five hours ago. She seems to be acting normal so far. We haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary. I just want to know when we are out of the woods. Would she have shown symptoms by now if she was going to?

Sept. 25, 2017

Farah's Owner

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Bread dough can cause a dog’s stomach to distend and also may cause to fermentation and the production of alcohol which can be fatal. Inducing vomiting can be unsuccessful due to the nature of bread dough; the quantity of bread dough which is considered dangerous varies between different yeasts and other ingredients. I would strongly recommend you call the Pet Poison Helpline as they would have more information on bread dough poisoning in dogs. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/bread-dough/ www.msdvetmanual.com/toxicology/food-hazards/bread-dough

Sept. 25, 2017

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Mandy

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Yellow Lab

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Vomiting
Swollen Stomach

My dog ate an uncooked pizza and then approximately 3 hours later threw up what looked like the whole thing. Should I still be worried? Or should she be okay now?

July 26, 2017

Mandy's Owner

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If Mandy has vomited up everything, it is a good sign but I would still give her some 3% hydrogen peroxide just to make sure everything has come up; the next step is to keep her hydrated. If you notice any of the symptoms on this page visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

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Buddy

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Shihpoo

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2 Years

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Tired
Heavy Breathing

My dog ate some moldy croissant dough that was put in the compost around 10 hours ago but has not shown any symptoms other than being a bit tired, but it’s night and he’s usually pretty chill. Should I be worried???

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Mavis

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Black Lab

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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Burping
Uncomfortable
Farting

My Black Lab ingested 12 rolls of bread dough! SO MUCH DOUGH. She is currently burpy and farty while sleeping. After reading all of this, SCARES me. Should I take her to a vet hospital?! As far as I know she hasn’t puked or pooped yet....should I call her vet first thing tomorrow morning. (It’s 11:00 p.m.) thanks in advance for info.

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Bambam

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Shihtzu Pomeranian mix

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11 Years

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Serious severity

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Unstable Constipated

My dog ate 4 uncooked rolls about 1pm. It's now 5am. He's having trouble going to poop but he keeps wanting to go outside to go. His walking is very wobbly and this last time out, he didn't want to jump up the stairs so I carried him. What can I give him to help him suggest the dough?

Unbaked Bread Dough Poisoning Average Cost

From 62 quotes ranging from $250 - $1,200

Average Cost

$500

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