Ethanol Poisoning in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments


(Learn more about ethanol poisoning in dogs. Picture credit: Fernando Trabanco FotografĂ­a/Getty Images)

Ethanol poisoning in dogs happens when a dog is exposed to ethanol. This can be through the mouth or skin. The condition affects the central nervous system.

Generally, a dog who is exposed will become drowsy. However, a dog will become unconscious in severe cases.

Common household products can cause the condition. For example, mouthwash, disinfectants, and perfumes contain ethanol. Additionally, alcoholic drinks contain ethanol.

Technically, the condition is known as ethanol toxicosis.

If you see the signs of ethanol poisoning in your dog, then get to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for the condition.

Symptoms of Ethanol Poisoning in Dogs

Ethanol poisoning in dogs produces a range of symptoms. For instance, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Involuntary peeing
  • Involuntary pooping
  • Diarrhea
  • Low body temperature
  • Slow heart rate
  • Disorientation
  • Slow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Heart attack

Generally, the amount of ethanol a dog is exposed to determines how long before symptoms show. Surprisingly, this can be as soon as 15 minutes.

Causes of Ethanol Poisoning in Dogs

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The cause of the condition is a dog being exposed to too much ethanol. For example, this can happen with the following products:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Uncooked bread dough
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antifreeze
  • Cleaning products
  • Mouthwash
  • Rotten apples
  • Medications

Treatments for Ethanol Poisoning in Dogs

Firstly, your vet will carry out a blood test. This checks the level of ethanol in your dog’s blood. Secondly, your vet will carry out a urine and a pH test.

Afterwards, most dogs are given intravenous fluid therapy. This basically stops them being dehydrated.

Generally, dogs being treated are given medicine. This helps the central nervous system.

As always, stick to the exact dose and frequency instructions your vet gives you. Also, complete the full course of medicine.

In the event that a dog suffers a severe case, oxygen therapy will be used. This helps a dog breathe properly.

All things considered, simple safety steps can help avoid the condition. Read more about how to prevent accidental poisonings here.

Have you cared for a dog who suffered from this condition? How did your vet help your dog recover? Let us know in the comments section.

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