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is toxic for your dog

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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.

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


  • 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

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

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.

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.

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.

Text Source: WagWalking

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