VPIS - Veterinary Poisons Information Service

Alcohol poisoning in dogs

credit Michael Bentley via Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Although alcohol is available year round, it is often drunk in larger quantities over the festive season.

Dogs will drink most forms of alcohol (e.g. beer, wine, spirits), but do seem to have a fondness for a particular brand of Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur ; indeed almost 20% of our canine ethanol cases with follow up involved this type of alcoholic drink.

The signs of ethanol intoxication are similar to those in humans with  vomiting, depression, ataxia, disorientation, vocalisation, drowsiness and coma. In severe cases there may be hypoglycaemia, hypothermia and respiratory depression.

Treatment is supportive with warming measures, rehydration and nursing care. They are likely to be depressed and lethargic (or “hung over”) during recovery.