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The level of alcohol in the blood stream is dictated by not only the amount of alcohol ingested but also the body weight of the dog. This makes it difficult enough, but each dog has a different tolerance.  Finally, to make things even more problematic, there are different effects for different Blood Alcohol Contents (BAC).  Much like in humans, being drunk and having alcohol poisoning are different things, but since the dogs cannot talk to us, we have trouble determining where the dog is at on this spectrum.

There are a multitude different sources that dogs can get different types of alcohol.  Typical alcoholic beverages are only one possibility.  Mouthwashes, aftershaves, perfumes, rubbing alcohol, cleaning products, cough syrups, and other items.  The most common source of alcohol poisoning will actually be from baking products.  Baked products with alcohol in them, such as Fruit Cake with Rum, account for some of this but unbaked Bread Dough accounts for most of this, as well as other issues.

Critical time for alcohol is 8-12 hours, although symptoms can present quickly.  Symptoms can include:

  • Drooling
  • Retching
  • Vomiting
  • Increased Urination
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Hypotension
  • Hypothermia
  • Elevated heart Rate
  • Liver Failure
  • Coma