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A representation of Ethanol

Ethanol is an organic compound of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Ethanol is also known as alcohol and is often used as a solvent, fuel or disinfectant. But how does ethanol affect dogs? Is it harmful or beneficial for our four-legged friends? In this article, you can find out more about ethanol in relation to dogs and what you should look out for.

How does ethanol get into the dog's body?

Ethanol can enter the dog's body in various ways. The most common route is oral ingestion, e.g. when the dog consumes alcohol-containing drinks, food or medication. Ethanol can also enter the dog's bloodstream via the skin or mucous membranes, for example if the dog comes into contact with products containing ethanol such as perfume, disinfectants or antifreeze. Ethanol can also be produced by the dog itself when it ferments certain foods such as raw bread or fruit.

How does ethanol affect dogs?

Ethanol has a similar effect on dogs as it does on humans. It affects the central nervous system and can cause a range of symptoms depending on the amount and concentration of ethanol. Possible symptoms are

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • Ataxia (coordination disorder)
  • apathy
  • depression
  • Hypothermia (hypothermia)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Acidosis (hyperacidity of the blood)
  • coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Death

Depending on the rate of absorption and metabolism of the dog, symptoms may appear after just a few minutes or after several hours. The lethal dose of ethanol for dogs is around 5 to 8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This corresponds to about 30 to 50 milliliters of pure alcohol per kilogram of body weight.

What are the benefits of ethanol for dogs?

Ethanol does not only have negative effects on dogs. In small quantities and under medical supervision, ethanol can also have positive effects. For example, ethanol can be used as an antidote for poisoning with certain substances such as methanol, glycol or antifreeze. Ethanol inhibits the conversion of these substances into toxic metabolites (degradation products) and thus prevents further damage to the dog's organs. Ethanol can also be used as a sedative (tranquilizer) or anesthetic (anesthetic) when other agents are unavailable or contraindicated.

What should you do if your dog has ingested ethanol?

If you suspect that your dog has ingested ethanol, you should seek veterinary advice immediately. The sooner treatment is started, the better the chances of a full recovery. The vet will take appropriate measures depending on the condition of the dog and the type of poisoning. These may include

  • Inducing vomiting to remove the ethanol from the stomach
  • Administering activated charcoal to bind the ethanol in the intestine
  • Infusions to stabilize fluid, electrolyte and blood sugar levels
  • Administration of oxygen to support breathing
  • Administration of anticonvulsants to prevent seizures
  • Ethanol can enter a dog's body in a variety of ways, primarily through oral ingestion of alcohol-containing substances or contact with ethanol-containing products.
  • Ethanol affects dogs similarly to humans and can cause a variety of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, incoordination, apathy, hypoglycemia and even fatal effects.
  • In small amounts and under medical supervision, ethanol can be used as an antidote for certain poisonings or as a tranquilizer.
  • If a dog has ingested ethanol, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately to take appropriate measures, such as inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal and providing supportive measures to stabilize the dog. Early treatment is crucial for a successful recovery.

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Learn even more about Ethanol

If you notice any signs of hypersensitivity or poisoning in your dog, you should see your vet immediately. We are not a substitute for a vet, but we try to be as accurate as possible. Every dog reacts differently and we recommend you get a second opinion or consult your vet if in doubt.

Stay healthy and take good care of your four-legged friend!😊

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