History. The owner had set out a loaf of yeast-containing bread dough to rise before dinner. A few hours later, the owner found the empty pan on the floor. The dog was experiencing flatulence, and her stomach appeared bloated.
Physical Examination. The abdomen was distended, and depression was noted. Heart rate was elevated (180 bpm), and the patient was mildly ataxic as she walked around the examination room. Rectal temperature was slightly subnormal at 99.6º F.
Ask yourself ...
With this patient's history, what other clinical signs or complications could be expected?
A. Vomiting and progressive ataxia
B. Foreign body obstruction, gastric dilatation, possibly volvulus
C. Metabolic acidosis, shock, seizures, or CNS depression
D. Coma, respiratory depression, possibly death
E. All of the above
Correct Answer: E
All of the above are potential signs or complications.
Mechanism of Action. Most forms of bread dough contain yeast-a single-celled fungus that in warm, anaerobic environments undergoes an enzymatic process during which sugars turn into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Carbon dioxide causes the dough to rise, while ethanol adds to the flavor before it evaporates during the baking process. Ingestion of raw dough not only raises concerns about the large mass of dough in the stomach, but the warm environment allows fermentation to continue, resulting in ethanol toxicosis.