Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Emmett is a 2 year old Great Pyrenees, and he is tall enough to get to anything unattended.  This can be a pet owner’s worse nightmare.  When you have a curious puppy or young dog, there are all kinds of household hazards you need to constantly be aware of, so we are going to use Emmett’s constant escapades to help our pet owners navigate through the tricky health concerns of all puppies and young dogs.

Episode #6 Raw Bread Dough!
Bread; completely innocuous, right?! Yes, bread dough, however, can be a problem in dogs.  The reason: yeast.
The encounter:   You are making Thanksgiving dinner.  You have put up the turkey and the stuffing, and everything else is in the oven.  There is no way your dog, Emmett, is ruining this meal.  Except for those rounds of frozen bread dough you set out to rise so you could bake them; but bread dough really doesn’t have a smell or a flavor when its frozen, so surely not a problem.  Wrong.  Unfortunately, Emmett decides he will remove the saran wrap on the dish and has gone ahead and ingested all the frozen bread dough.

The scoop:
There are several main concerns with bread and pizza dough.  If it is the kind that needs to rise, and is not just premade rolls or crust, then it contains the vital ingredient, yeast.  Yeast can do two things while sitting in your dog’s stomach; expand, and ferment.
One of the first concerns is mechanical.  Raw bread dough is meant to rise and expand, and this happening inside your dog has the potential to cause bloat.  Not only is stomach bloat painful, but with enough pressure, can cause significant pressure on other organs, including the lungs, making breathing difficult.
The secondary concern is what the yeast produces.  Yeast that is fermenting is producing both gas (CO2 gas) and ethanol (alcohol) as byproduct.  So basically, you pet can continue to have further bloating concerns with an increase of gas producing happening inside its stomach, and later start feeling like he consumed a large amount of tequila.  Unfortunately, it is hard to use the amount of bread dough as an indicator of how much ethanol or alcohol will be produced, since it is more important to know how much active yeast was in the raw bread dough.  The potential for ethanol toxicity can be life threatening.  It causes the acid level to rise in your pet’s blood stream, and causes a lot of stress to the organs as a result.  In high volumes, this can be very similar to a person suffering alcohol poisoning.

The plan:
There are a couple of things that can be done to try to halt this process before it gets out of hand.  If caught fairly early on, the stomach can be flushed and cleaned with cold water, which can help deactivate the yeast, and sometimes help flush some of the bread dough out of your pet’s stomach.  Then it is usually recommended that your pet be hospitalized with fluids and monitoring of the acid/base status of their blood.  Sometimes pain medications may be administered to help with the “hangover”.  There are cases of bread dough ingestion being fatal, very much like a severe case of alcohol poisoning in a person.   Make sure you keep the bread up somewhere away from your adventurous pooch, and consult with your veterinarian right away if you suspect this type of ingestion.

Thanks for reading and Join us next time for #stuffemmetteats