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A Tennessee family has much to be thankful for this year. That’s because they’re able to celebrate the holiday with their Golden Retriever, Pippa, who almost didn’t make it after suffering yeast poisoning from a common Turkey Day menu item last year.
Last Thanksgiving, Becky Collins of Knoxville was prepping her holiday feast, which included bread dough for dinner rolls. She shaped the dough and arranged it in what she thought was a safe place, covered with a towel. But when she went to remove the towel and bake the rolls several hours later, she discovered half of the dough balls were missing. Her 2-year-old dog, Pippa, was the obvious culprit.
“Sneakily, the dog had gotten the rolls without disturbing the towel. I don’t know how she did it,” Collins told Today.
But Collins didn’t think much of it – that is, until after dinner, when the dog mom noticed her pup was unusually lethargic.
“That’s when I started to think, ‘Oh, yeast rises. I’m going to call someone and see what they recommend,’” she told Today.
She landed on the Pet Poison Helpline, and an expert there recommended she take Pippa to an emergency animal hospital immediately. Pippa was hospitalized overnight at the Animal Emergency & Specialty Center of Knoxville, where the pup was fed ice chips to prevent the dough from rising in her hot stomach.
An Ounce of Prevention
Pippa was lucky. She passed the dough naturally and didn’t need surgery. But now Collins feels compelled to warn other pet parents of the dangers of Thanksgiving foods, some of which could be hazardous to their health.
Bread dough, in particular, is a double whammy because of the potential for yeast poisoning. It can cause a fatal stomach torsion as well as alcohol poisoning.
“What would be occurring sitting on your kitchen counter ends up occurring in your pet’s stomach,” Dr. Renee Schmid, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, told Today. “That dough rises and causes a stretching of the stomach, or a distention. And then that yeast as it ferments produces ethanol, an alcohol. So these animals can develop alcohol poisoning.”
If you suspect your dog has ingested yeast, seek veterinary treatment right away. Other dangerous foods to watch out for include turkey bones, turkey grease, chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic.
And if you, like Collins, are baking bread as part of your Thanksgiving meal this year, make sure to let it rise far away from your dog’s reach, like on top of the refrigerator. No one wants to spend the holidays in the ER!
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