Is bread dough poisonous to dogs?

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What it’s in:

Homemade and store bought unbaked dough that contains yeast (used for bread, dinner rolls, etc).

Threat to pets:

Unbaked yeast containing dough can result in multiple problems if a pet ingests it. The dark, warm environment of the stomach acts as an oven and encourages the dough to continue rising. This can result in a bowel obstruction or a bloated/distended stomach. The stomach may then twist leading to a GDV or gastric dilitation and volvulus. This is a life-threatening situation that requires emergency abdominal surgery before the walls of the stomach die due to poor blood supply. As the yeast ferments in the stomach, it releases alcohol which may lead to alcohol poising (see alcohol).

Signs of yeast or bread dough poisoning:

Bloat or GDV: distended abdomen, unproductive vomiting and retching, lethargy, weakness, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), collapse and shock.

Alcohol poisoning:

Alcohol smell on the breath, neurological depression, hypothermia (low body temperature), hypotension (low blood pressure), seizures and respiratory failure.

Treatment:

Induce vomiting if the dough was recently ingested. To stop the rising of the dough, a cold-water gastric lavage may be performed. Aggressive intravenous fluids and dextrose (sugar), abdominal surgery, warming measures and in-hospital monitoring.

Prognosis:

Excellent if decontaminated soon after ingestion and the appropriate care is received. Poorer in cases of severe alcohol poisoning and bloat/GDV.

Published on September 23, 2011
Categorized under: Pet Safety Tips