What Happens If Your Dog Consumes Alcohol?


Understandably, dogs can't handle alcohol in any form. Though alcohol is toxic for them, they don't know this, and unfortunately, they may eagerly consume an unattended alcoholic beverage or one that has been spilled on the floor. But how dangerous is it? And what do you need to do if it happens?

An Adverse Reaction 

Dogs can have an adverse reaction to alcohol. It's essentially alcohol poisoning, but a dog's physiology means that the reaction is both rapid and strong, and it doesn't take much alcohol for this to happen. 

The Nature of the Alcoholic Drink

The precise amount of alcohol that is dangerous can't easily be classified because it depends on your dog's size and the nature of the alcoholic drink that was consumed. Something with fairly low alcohol content (such as beer) won't be as problematic as something with high alcohol content (such as spirits). But there's also the fact that you might be unable to accurately gauge how much your dog has had since it's likely to have happened while your back was turned.

Contact Your Vet

A small amount of alcohol will still be toxic to your dog, but the level of toxicity will often be manageable, although your dog will feel rather unwell for a short period. Despite this, it's important to err on the side of caution. If your dog has consumed any amount of alcohol, you need to contact your veterinary surgeon immediately.

Signs of Intoxication

Your vet will ask you to provide as much information as possible, and they might instruct you to bring your dog into their surgery immediately. This will certainly be the case if your dog is demonstrating visible signs of intoxication, such as disorientation, vomiting, and seizures, as this level of alcohol poisoning has the potential to lead to organ failure, and may even be fatal if untreated. 

At the Vet's Surgery

Once your dog has arrived onsite, your vet may opt to perform gastric lavage (stomach pumping) to flush the toxins out of your dog's stomach. Your dog may also need IV fluids to rehydrate them, and they might need to stay at the clinic for monitoring.

It can be extremely serious when your dog consumes alcohol, and urgent treatment might be required in order to save your best friend's life. If you find that your dog has accidentally consumed alcohol, contact a veterinarian surgeon as soon as you can.


28 January 2021

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